The Italian Heritage Festival of Buffalo begins Thursday (August 1) on Hertel Avenue and runs through Sunday night.

The festival celebrates its 26th year this year and is the second-largest Italian street festival in the nation -- and even better for me, it is right around the corner from where I live.

Aside from all the delicious foods, the festival offers entertainment like the Italian Idol contest and Miss Italian Festival competition, a Bocce tournament, dancing and several cooking demonstrations and food sampling.

I don’t think I could pick a favorite Italian dish because there are so many great offerings like ravioli, tortellini, pizza, lasagna...I could go on and on. If you’re heading to the festival, you better wear pants that give a little at the waist!