Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival Wraps Up Sunday; Wine & Sauce Winners Announced


 Record-high temperatures did not keep people from heading to Heritage Port on Sunday morning for a special church service.

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield held the 34th annual Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival Mass Sunday morning, despite temperatures hitting the mid 80s by 10:00 a.m.

Dozens of parishioners came to hear the message, and Bransfield was sure to thank them for sitting through the service in the heat. 

Another Italian Festival tradition helped to wrap up the festival on Sunday when the winners of the wine and sauce competitions were unveiled.

This year, five people submitted their sauce recipes. They were evaluated last week, and three people took home medals. Gian Franco Morasutti and Frank Muraca took home bronze medals for their bolognese and red sauces, respectively. Sharon Barbetta took home a silver medal for her red sauce, and also won best in show.

Winners of the wine competition were also announced, with 21 submissions, judges said it took them about three hours to sample and choose winners in different categories.

Dave Ivanek took home six medals this year, adding to his collection from festivals past. “From here, I probably have 12. I’ve won three in prior years, this is my sixth, this is my banner year here this year. And also the best of show, I am also very happy with that one this year,” he said. 

Other wine winners included in the bronze category: Jim Baller (one red and one white), Ed Rollandini (red), and Doug Smith (red). In the silver category: A.J. Estock (red), Frank Scenna (red), and Doug Smith (red). In the gold category: A.J. Estock (red). 

Ivanek took home one bronze, one silver, two gold, and two best of show medals.

Next year, organizers of the contest are encouraging people to submit their meatball recipes, as well. 

The Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival wrapped up on Sunday night. 

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