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Italian Heritage Festival Names Gran Ceremoniere

By Kait Munro

The Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival committee named restauranteur and philanthropist Michael Militello as this year’s Gran Ceremoniere. He will be the ceremonial head of the Festival, and will oversee all ceremonial events at Buffalo’s Italian Fest this year. 

Militello is President and CEO of the MRM Hospitality Group, which includes the Bijou Grille in Buffalo and the Sonoma Grille in Amherst. Also, he is well known throughout Western New York for his contributions to various local charities. 
Last year, the Festival raised approximately $60,000 to sponsor community events and fund numerous college scholarships. The Italian Fest attracted an estimated 500,000 visitors during its four-day run, making it one of the largest Italian festivals in North America. 
The Sorrento Cheese Italian Festival, a free event presented by Hertel-North Buffalo Business Assn., North Buffalo Community Development Corp. and the West Side Business & Taxpayers Assn., will be held Thursday, July 16th, through Sunday, July 19th, on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo. The celebration will begin each morning at 11 AM, and will continue until 11 PM. The much anticipated, annual festival ends Sunday at 10 PM. 
For more information on this upcoming event, please visit
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