Alessio di Marco knows a lot about Ferraris.
“Basically, these cars, they’re one of a kind,” he said.
On Saturday, he got to sit in the driver’s seat during the “Weekend of the Races” of Little Italy, a three-day annual event held during the Grand Prix.
The event is a family-oriented alternative to the downtown craze, where all ages can admire cars, enjoy the food, and get to the know the neighbourhood.
“We’ve got make-up artists, there’s going to be games for kids,” said Marco Miserendino, one of the event’s organizers.
“They get to see the vintage firetrucks, climb on them, see them, touch them. There’s mini Ferrari cars that they can ride with the pedals.”
“The whole site is for car lovers, food lovers, and if you’ve got a little bit of Italian spirit in you, or if you like the whole Italian dolce vita thing, then there’s no better place to be,” Miserendino added.
The show attracts car enthusiasts from all over; mostly Montrealers, but also tourists so intrigued they decide to venture north.
This year, organizers expected over a quarter million people.
“The atmosphere is amazing,” said one father, who came with his daughter. “We truly enjoy being here, and we come practically every year.”
“Today we’re here from Laval,” said another mother. “We came here for the atmosphere– and we came here for the gelato!”
One of the many cars on display was a dragster, a car used for drag-racing that can go up to 180 mph, in just seven seconds.
The race weekend is also great, of course, for local businesses.
” These people get to see maybe things they wouldn’t normally come and see in Little Italy, so it’s an excuse to bring them in,” said Miserendino. “And once they taste it, they feel what it’s all about they keep coming back, so it’s important for merchants to put out their best foot forward and show what they’re able to do.”
Alessio was sure having a lot of fun.
“What I like the most about is all the people, and all the cars,” he said.
The event lasts until Sunday, June 8th, 10 p.m.