Friday, October 15, 2010

Nothing will stop the ice cream van appearing at the Crows Nest Festival

WHEN Alfio Coco’s wife had to go to hospital to have a baby two days before the Crows Nest Festival, he became worried. What if he missed the annual event?

Mr Coco has sold ice cream from his Bar Coco cafe van at the festival for the past 20 years. “My wife’s water broke on the Friday before and she said to me ‘you can’t miss the fair!’,” he said. Luckily, his daughter arrived before the Sunday and the Bar Coco van was in its usual spot on Willoughby Rd at the festival.

“It’s funny because she (his daughter, now five years old) loves the van, she says ‘it’s my van, it’s my business’,” he said. Perhaps in the future she will take over the business, which has been in the family for the past two generations. Mr Coco’s two uncles used to make ice-cream in Leichardt for 50 years.

Mr Coco used to work as a hairdresser in Crows Nest and helped out with the business during his spare time but soon decided to focus entirely on Bar Coco.

“I wanted to put all my attention to it,” he said. The free festival will celebrate its 21st anniversary this Sunday, October 17. Mr Coco missed the first festival because it was on a Saturday and he was working at the hairdresser’s, but the next year it was changed to a Sunday and he has been part of it since.

“I love it,” he said. “The atmosphere, the entertainment, the great stalls.”He said the only change he had noticed at the festival in the past 20 years was that it had grown “bigger and better”.

“I think in particular the entertainment makes people come back year after year. They always have number one entertainment with great bands.”

The festival, which attracts more than 40,000 people every year, will have 200 stalls, street performers, jumping castles, Sumo wrestling displays and four stages with musicians. It runs from 10am to 5pm.


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