The 2017 Summer/Fall Feast Day and Parade Guide is a quick resource for those celebrating in major cities across the U.S.
Mark your calendars, prepare your appetite and immerse yourself in Italian America.
We’ll update this list through the summer, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think your favorite Italian event should make the list.
Thursday, August 24th to Sunday, August 27th
Named the “Feast of all Feasts” by National Geographic Magazine, this authentic Italian street festival has it all for people of every age: parades, strolling singers, live entertainment, contests and religious services are held daily.
Visitors stroll the beautifully decorated streets sampling the best Italian street foods from 100 pushcarts enjoying arancini, sausage peppers & onion, quahogs, calamari, pizza, pasta and of course zeppole, cannoli and gelato. Guests can also browse the wide selection of souvenir keepsakes and mementos.
The highlight of the Feast is the ten-hour procession of the Statue of Saint Anthony through the streets of the North End accompanied by devotees, numerous marching bands and floats. The Statue of the Saint returns to his chapel as confetti and streamers cascade from the rooftops.
Thursday, August 17th to Sunday, August 20th
The Fisherman’s Feast, an annual event that began in Boston in 1910, was inspired by a tradition that goes back to the 16th century in Sciacca Sicily. The Feast is based on the devotion of the fishermen from Sciacca to the Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help). When the fishermen immigrated to America in the early 1900’s, they brought their traditions with them.
Today’s Feast is much the same as it was over 100 years ago with lights adorning the street and the smell of sausage in the air. The current Feast is organized by the descendants of those original immigrants and still includes a procession of the Madonna through the streets of the North End.
Monday, October 9th
For nearly half a century, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has sponsored Chicago’s Columbus Day celebration. Festivities begin with a mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and a wreath laying ceremony at the Columbus Statue located in Arrigo Park, followed by the parade. The parade of over 150 floats, bands and marching units travels down State Street, from Wacker Drive to VanBuren Street.
Many prominent Italian-Americans have been honorary parade Grand Marshals, including Ernest Borgnine and Tommy LaSorda.
Friday, August 18th to Sunday, August 20th
Chicago’s popular Little Italy neighborhood will celebrate its history and heritage from August 18-20 as the annual Taylor Street Festa Italiana returns for its 12th year. More than 50,000 fest-goers are expected to attend. The three-day celebration will put Chicagoans’ appetites to the test, as a meatball eating contest will challenge some of the city’s best amateur competitive eaters.
Families are invited to come out and enjoy the Festa Italiana with their little ones, as carnival rides and family-friendly activities will be taking place all weekend long — all nestled beside three great stages of live entertainment and some of the best Italian food that Chicago has to offer.
Saturday, August 12th to Tuesday, August 15th
Cleveland’s Feast of the Assumption, held each year in mid-August in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood, is a four-day street fair that celebrates the Catholic Day of Assumption (August 15), when the Virgin Mary died and assumed her place beside Jesus. The Feast is a fun-filled Italian street party with rides, food, live music, a procession, and lots of fun.
The four-day Feast of the Assumption is a wonderful mix of respectful religious rites and secular fun. The entire length of Mayfield Road, between Euclid Avenue and Cleveland Heights, is closed off to traffic for the weekend. In its place are carnival rides, delicious Italian-themed food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and live music stages, playing everything from rock to “It’s Amore.”
In addition, there are fireworks at night and a procession on August 15. Just as everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day; everyone in Cleveland is a little Italian during the Feast of the Assumption. The event draws more than 100,000 visitors each year. Admission is free.
Friday, July 7th to Sunday, July 9th; Friday July 14th to Sunday, July 16th
Situated in the Marion section of Jersey City, NJ, the OLMC Feast includes a nine-day Novena beginning on July 7th held in the church. The outdoor street festival consists of food, nightly entertainment, high stakes raffles, games and amusement rides.
Thursday, September 14th to Sunday, September 24th
The 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro will be held in Little Italy for 11 days from September 14, through September 24, 2017, on the streets of historic Little Italy, the lower Manhattan neighborhood which served as the first home in America for hundreds of thousands of Italian immigrants who came here seeking to improve their lives beginning in the early part of the 20th century.
This year’s Feast is expected once again to attract more than one million people from the four corners of the globe to the streets of Little Italy to participate in the annual Salute to the Patron Saint of Naples.
Wednesday, July 5th to Sunday July, 16th
Every summer, thousands of New Yorkers flock to Brooklyn and witness the lifting of the Giglio: a 4-ton, 72-foot statue that is carried through the crowd by 150 men.
There’s nothing quite like it.
This year, the statue — bearing the likeness of St. Paulinus — will be hoisted and lugged down North Eighth and Havemeyer Streets to North Tenth Street in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood at roughly 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 9th.
Apart from this herculean spectacle, attendees can expect the usual feast attractions, including live music, Italian fare, games, spiritual dedications and more.
Thursday, August 10th to Sunday, August 13th
The East Harlem Giglio Feast was founded in 1908 by immigrants from Brusciano, near Naples. Today, the larger-than-life tradition takes place along New York’s Pleasant Avenue in East Harlem, which at one time was the largest Little Italy in the United States. The giglio — an 80-foot, 6,000-pound wooden statue honoring St. Anthony — will be lifted by scores of participants on Sunday, August 13th. Feast-goers will also enjoy live music, entertainment, mass services and Italian street fare.
Sunday, October 1st
Celebrate Italian heritage and culture at the Heinz History Center with a full day of interactive activities designed for K-12 students. Local community groups and museum staff will facilitate educational activities on every floor of the museum with the intention of allowing family members to work together to learn about Italian-American history and culture.
Sunday, July 9th
Historically the most popular of Kennywood’s Heritage Days, Italian Day still stands out thanks to the special Italian food offerings situated around the park, entertainment on the stages, and of course the traditional parade and end of the night fireworks! Refer to the link above as the event draws closer for information on discount admission.
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