Little Italy bids arrivederci Ferragosto, its biggest and final bash

Over the years, Ferragosto themed parties included "The Roaring 20s," "Pompeii," and “Wild, Wild, Western.”
Over the years, Ferragosto themed parties included “The Roaring 20s,” “Pompeii,” and “Wild, Wild, Western.”
(Little Italy Association)

What’s happening

Little Italy’s biggest party, Ferragosto, will host its sixth and final fundraising gala with a “Pirates Invade Sicily” theme featuring a cigar and rum lounge, casino games, live music and dancing, a live auction and raffle prizes. Created in 2008, the event launched its first charity affair two years later. Over the past 10 years, the Italian-American festival has raised $2 million for three nonprofit groups: Washington Elementary School Foundation, Our Lady of the Rosary Church and the Little Italy Association. “Ferragosto is bigger than just a fun-filled themed party,” said Luke Vinci, event chairman."It’s about bringing the community together to celebrate our cultural identity and the progressive and innovative work being done in San Diego’s Little Italy to make it one of the top Little Italys in the country. Good things happen when people collectively come together, and our neighborhood’s success has a lot to do with just that. We’re also looking forward to supporting the church and our public neighborhood school — two important pillars in our community.” Come dressed in cocktail or summer attire, or in your your finest pirate attire. VIP reception: 5 to 6 p.m.; event: 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Amici Park, State and Date streets, San Diego. $125 general single; $175 VIP single.

Duck tostada.
(¡Latin Food Fest!)

August will be hot and spicy as California’s biggest annual Latin culinary extravaganza — ¡Latin Food Fest! — comes to the Embarcadero. The two-day event includes “Spirits of the Americas,” a high-energy spirits festival under the stars, and “Gran Tasting San Diego,” which includes food, beverage, wine, beer and spirits stations, cooking and wine demonstrations, chef awards, VIP Tent, and a four-hour music performance by La Junta Sound System. Proceeds from the fest will benefit the San Diego Hunger Coalition. 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. for VIPs) Friday and 1 p.m. (noon for VIPs) Saturday. Embarcadero Marina Park North, 400 Kettner Blvd., downtown San Diego. Tickets: $25-$149.

Chef Jose Duran of Casa Guadalajara will compete for the title of Best of the Fest at the Tacos and Spirits Revolution at Chula Vista's HarborFest.
(Courtesy photo)

Eighteen chefs will vie for the title of Best of the Fest at the Tacos and Spirits Revolution at Chula Vista’s HarborFest. Guests will not only taste some of the best tacos, but also sips of specialty tequila and artisanal spirits from more than 10 distilleries. Cost is $25 in advance, $30 day of the event. Want tacos only? That option is $20 in advance, $25 day of the event. Prefer wine over spirits? For $10, you can pick two tastes and a full pour from the Champagne, Rosé and Wine Tasting area. Admission to HarborFest is free. 11 3 p.m. Saturday. Bayside Park, 999 Bayside Parkway, Chula Vista.