A title character plays only a supporting role this week at the Tontitown Grape Festival. That's the grape itself, now relegated to cameo appearances at this venerable yearly celebration, whose roots date to 1899. It's the case that not a lot of grapes are grown today around this Northwest Arkansas community, settled near the end of the 19th centur...

When the first settlers from Sunnyside sat down to a harvest picnic in 1898, the thought of a Ferris wheel or carousel in eyeshot of the church house doors would have been inconceivable. Just as hard to fathom, though, would be the idea that the supper would become a tradition that would span a century and more. This coming week, the 119th Annual T...

With three weeks to spare, volunteers are starting to prepare the homemade pasta for the 119th annual Tontitown Grape Festival. Volunteer Jettie Franco said participating in the festival is a way to share a piece of her Italian heritage with her family and the community. "I think that's what happens in a lot of nationalities, they don't pass down t...

THE cellar is flooded and Chris Ranalli worries about snakes. From the safety of the back door, he points out the sturdy walls—two feet thick, as if to withstand Mediterranean earthquakes—and the elegantly vaulted ceilings. “They lived in the top two storeys and made wine in the basement,” explains Mr Ranalli, who now tends the 100-year-old vineyar...

Harrison’s soccer team has an international flair to the squad this year. Michi Gentile has joined the team in her year of living in Harrison. There is a big difference between Arkansas high school sports and those in Italy. “Schools in Italy are really different,” she said. “They think that sports are a distraction, so we do not have any kind of s...

The Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble will conclude its 2016-17 concert season on Sunday, April 30, at 2 p.m. in Fowler Center’s Riceland Hall. The theme of the concert is “Musica Italiana” and will feature a wide variety of Italian music.  Dr. Timothy Oliver, director of bands at A-State and conductor of the A-State Wind Ensemble, said, “The...

Arkansas State University-Mountain Home is holding a dedication ceremony today for its criminal justice institute named after the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Chancellor Robin Myers will introduce John Scalia, who will represent the late justice's family, at 7 p.m. at the Coulter Performing Arts Center in the Vada Sheid Community...

Ciao from Rome! But almost on the plane for New York. Hello to all We the Italians readers. I'm about to leave for New York City, where as usual We the Italians will be at the NIAF Spring Gala. And I'll be bearing a gift! The new book is out, at the beginning of every year we will publish a yearbook about the year before, and so this is the We the...

Nicola Vaccari may have been born and raised in Italy, trained with NATO in Canada and spent time parking celebrities' cars in Beverly Hills, but for more than 50 years the man known as Northeast Arkansas' "Grandfather of Aviation" made his home in Walnut Ridge. Vaccari, who passed away Feb. 10 at the age of 88, began his aviation career as a memb...

Little Italy's history received recognition today from the Pulaski County Historical Society. An article highlighting Little Italy's role in Prohibition was awarded the 2017 F. Hampton Roy Award for best research article. It will be published in the Spring edition of the Pulaski County Historical Society's journal.