The 2018 Summer/Fall Feast Day and Parade Guide is a quick resource for those celebrating Italian culture 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 23rd to Sunday, August 26th
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 10-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 16th to Sunday, August 19th
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 Italian cuisine 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 8th
For nearly half a century, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has sponsored Chicago’s Columbus Day celebration. Festivities begin with a 9 a.m. mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and a wreath laying ceremony at the Columbus Statue in Arrigo Park, followed by the parade, which steps off at 1 p.m.
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.
Thursday, July 12th to Sunday, July 15th
Delicious Italian food, friendly vendors, family games, rides for children and live entertainment all four nights. The procession will include the beloved statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Italian sodalities and family candle houses. As it has for 124 years, the procession will wind through the streets of Melrose Park. All are welcome to join in this historic devotion to Our Lady!
Wednesday, August 15th to Saturday, August 18th
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 Assumption of Mary (August 15). The Feast is a widely popular Italian street party with rides, food, live music and a procession.
Mayfield Road is closed off to traffic for the major event. In its place are delicious Italian-themed food vendors, arts and crafts booths and live music stages, playing everything from rock ‘n’ roll to “It’s Amore.” 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.
Tuesday, July 10th to Monday, July 16th
Sponsors of the longest running Italian Festival in the United States and a Hammonton, NJ Tradition Since 1875! A weeklong festival of live entertainment, carnival rides, Italian marching bands, Italian songs, fireworks, a beer garden, the Carmine Pantalone Mt. Carmel Society Band, Italian Concerts, Italian Gardens and the Food Stand at the Mt. Carmel Hall.
Thursday, September 13th to Sunday, September 23rd
The 92nd Annual Feast of San Gennaro will be held 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.
This year’s Feast is expected once again to attract more than one million people who will celebrate the annual Salute to the Patron Saint of Naples. Scores of food vendors, live music, festivities and much more.
Thursday, July 5th to Monday, 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’s carried through the crowd by 150 men.
There’s nothing quite like it, and this year marks the 115th anniversary of the larger-than-life tradition.
The giglio — 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 about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 8th.
Apart from this herculean spectacle, attendees can expect the usual feast attractions, including live music, authentic and street side Italian fare, games, spiritual dedications and more.
Thursday, August 9th to Monday, 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 12th. Feast-goers will also enjoy live music, entertainment, mass services and Italian street fare.
Sunday, July 8th
This longtime tradition nears 90 years of celebrating with all the hallmarks of Italian heritage: specialty vendors around the Lagoon, musical performances, the traditional Italian Day parade, and fireworks to cap what’s truly a molto bene day at Kennywood!
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