Brier Hill Italian Fest celebrates neighborhood
Clinging to the hillside above a steel mill, Brier Hill was once the city’s largest Italian neighborhood and a lively place.
The neighborhood will echo with memories of its heyday when the 19th annual Brier Hill Italian Fest returns, Thursday to Sunday. The event sprawls for a block from Calvin and Victoria streets, bringing the old neighborhood back to life. Former residents return each year.
Highway projects razed large swaths of the neighborhood beginning in the 1950s, and the closing of the steel mills led to its decline.
But the neighborhood got a glimmer of hope earlier this year when V&M Star announced a giant expansion of its plant where the Brier Hill Works of Youngstown Sheet & Tube once stood.
The festival honors a Man of the Year. Earning recognition this time will be Ron Hall, a retired insurance-agency owner who has been active in the Brier Hill festival and Italian-American War Veterans Post 12 for years.
Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Thursday and Friday, and noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday. Games, food, vendors and live Italian music are part of the event.
Call Clair Maluso, event co-chairwoman, at 330-793-7293 for more information.
The 19th annual Brier Hill Italian Fest will be Thursday to Sunday. The entertainment schedule is as follows:
6-6:30 p.m.: “That’s Entertainment,” by Trumbull Seniors
7-8:30 p.m.: John Gabriele
9-11 p.m.: Frank Gallo Band
4-5 p.m.: Steve Fazzini
5:30-7 p.m.: Jim Frank Combo
7 p.m.: Opening ceremony
7:30-9 p.m.: Rocco Monaco Orchestra
9:30-11 p.m.: Rocky Chirchiglia Combo
Noon-2 p.m.: Paul Rossi Orchestra
2-2:45 p.m.: Stave Fazzini
3-4:30 p.m.: Frank Gallo Band
5-6:30 p.m.: Rex Taneri Band
7-8:30 p.m.: Rocky Chirchiglia Combo
9-11 p.m.: Jim Frank Combo
7:30 p.m. (sign in at 5:30 p.m.): Hot Pepper Contest
10 a.m.: Lowellville Marching Band
10:30 a.m.: Mass at St. Anthony’s Church
1:30-3 p.m.: Rocco Monaco Orchestra
3:30-5 p.m.: John Gabriele
5:30-7 p.m.: Rex Taneri Band
7:30-9 p.m.: Frank Gallo Band
9:30-11:30 p.m.: Dom Tocco and the Brotherhood