Spaghetti, Bocce, Music and More at Paesano Days
● By Emily Miranda
On a Roll
Story by Emily Miranda
Photo Courtesy of Redding Sons of Italy
LOOKING FOR FAMILY FUN with an Italian twist? Check out Redding’s Sons of Italy Paesano Days Tournament. The two-day bocce ball tournament is more than playing bocce – it includes games for the kids, a night of dancing, vendors selling unique crafts and wares and the opportunity to win a variety of prizes. Don’t forget the delicious pasta and meatballs, sausage, salad, ice cream and cannolis – how can one decline? It’s a weekend of family-friendly partying designed for all ages to enjoy.
This year’s event takes place Sept. 13 and 14 at South City Park in Redding. “I’m one of the members that helps organize bocce for our Paesano Days Tournament as well as the spring, fall and senior bocce leagues that play at South City Park,” says 30-year Sons of Italy member John Tasello. “I have played bocce at every Paesano Days event since joining. We participated in the building of the bocce courts in 2016 with three goals in mind: To have a successful community event at the park, to make the park family-friendly again and to highlight bocce in the North State.”
The Sons of Italy are grateful for the help they have received from community members like Rick Bosetti of Tiger Field and the City of Redding in their efforts to improve South City Park. “With Bosetti leading the effort to install the fencing, and the city allowing public access with a 'prmit-reservation-only' policy, the park is once again a nice place for people to spend the day with their families," says Tasello.
“We also teamed up with the Special Olympics community to get their members playing bocce,” Tasello continues. “They have been playing and practicing at the courts since we completed them and have been very successful in competing in the state Special Olympics competitions.”
The Sons of Italy also host the Media Bocce Paesano Days Tournament in which Enjoy Magazine participated last year. “We decided to participate in the media tournament mainly for my mom,” says Ronda Alvey, editor in chief of Enjoy Magazine. “My mom had recently moved to Redding and played on a bocce team when she lived in Rio Vista, so she was very excited when I asked if she wanted to play on the Enjoy team.”
The Enjoy team was made up of Alvey, her mom, her husband and her co-worker Emily, and, to their surprise, they won the tournament. “My husband had played very little, and Emily and I never played before that night, so we were shocked that we won,” Alvey says with a laugh. “My 82-year-old mom was our secret weapon, and we had a blast!”
With the growing popularity of bocce in the Redding area, it’s safe to say the Sons of Italy are achieving their goals. “Bocce is part of our Italian heritage, and Italian or not, it is a great game for all ages,” says Tasello. •