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ITALIAN HOT SPOTIt's not that far from...



It's not that far from Baltimore's waterfront, it's one of the city's largest Showcase of Nations ethnic festivals, and it's this weekend. It's the 24th annual Italian Festival.

The festival, sponsored by the Sons of Italy, runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. today and continues through Sunday. It features music, arts, crafts and lots of lasagna, manicotti, pizza, spaghetti, sauces, vino and, given the heat of July, lots of ices.

Patterson Park is the scene. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Admission. Children under 12 free. Information: 909-0337. Fans, family members and former teammates of Leon Day will pay tribute to the late, great Negro League pitcher at noon today at Eutaw Street Plaza of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mr. Day, a member of the Baltimore Elite Giants, died March 13, six days after learning that he would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Locally, his memory is being marked by a "Leon Day Way" at the ballpark and an exhibit on his career that runs through September at the nearby Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St. He will be inducted Sunday into the Hall of Fame. Information: 727-1539.


The Maryland State Numismatic Association is conducting its Atlantic Rarities Coin Exposition at the Baltimore Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The expo will feature exhibits, dealers, club meetings, a young coin collectors program and an educational forum. Information: 265-6462.


Next week's big convention in town is that of the National Bar Association, one of the nation's oldest and largest associations of predominantly African-American lawyers and judges. About 2,000 participants will arrive Sunday and stay through Friday. Headquarters: Hyatt Regency.

* Promoting its current IMAX film feature, "Africa: The Serengeti," the Maryland Science Center will have Baltimore Zoo director Roger Birkel introduce the film's 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. showings Sunday. He'll also have animals from the African plain. Admission. Information: 685-5225.

* The B&O; Railroad Museum, trying to attract more tourists from the Inner Harbor, has started a shuttle service using a 1957 GMC transit bus. The bus will run from the Inner Harbor to the museum, making six trips a day beginning at 9 a.m. The service is free to museum visitors. Information: 752-2445.

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