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Italian festival to mark 25 years

Published: Thu, July 15, 2010 @ 12:05 a.m.
  Italian Festival

Greater Youngstown Italian Festival

Greater Youngstown Italian Festival

July 30

5-6 p.m.: Opening ceremonies

7-8:30 p.m.: Miss Italian Youngstown beauty pageant

9-10:30 p.m.: Singer Amanda Beagle, a former Miss Ohio

July 31

4-5 p.m.: Polka Mass with Del Rezek

5-7 p.m.: Del Rezek

7:30-9 p.m.: Lena Prima

9:30-11 p.m.: Dick Contino

Aug. 1

Noon to 1 p.m.: Sunday Mass

1-2:30 p.m.: Lowellville Band

3-4 p.m.: Little King and Queen pageant

4:30-7 p.m.: Avanti

7:30-9 p.m.: Dick Contino

9:30-11 p.m.: Lena Prima

Source: Greater Youngstown Italian Fest organizers




Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Greater Youngstown Italian Fest will feature music, two city blocks of rides, more than 40 food booths and 25 craft and retail vendors.

The three-day festival, in the city’s downtown area, opens at 11 a.m. July 30. The festival opens at 3 p.m. July 31 and at 11 a.m. Aug. 1. It closes at 11 each night.

The event attracts 40,000 to 50,000 people annually, said John Rossetti Jr., the festival’s chairman.

“People enjoy being downtown and sharing the Italian heritage of the Mahoning Valley,” said Rossetti at a Wednesday press conference to tout the event.

The first 10 or so Italian Fests were downtown. But it then moved around to Boardman, Youngstown’s South Side and the Canfield Fairgrounds before returning downtown in 2007.

“People enjoy being downtown and getting to see the revitalization of Youngstown,” Rossetti said. “People who grew up here and haven’t been downtown for years are amazed at what’s become of it during the last five to 10 years.”

Since returning downtown, attendance to the festival is about 25 percent to 40 percent more than it was at the fairgrounds, he said.

The event is along West Federal Street between Phelps Street and South Avenue and on Market Street between Commerce and Boardman streets.

The event is so large that it takes two days to set it up, meaning those streets will be closed beginning July 28, Rossetti said.

“This Italian Fest has been a part of the downtown renaissance as much as anything,” said Mayor Jay Williams, who met with the event’s organizers in 2006 and persuaded them to return it to its original home the following year.

Admission is $3 at the gate. Those under age 12 are admitted free.

The festival will include a pasta-eating contest, an Italian-sausage-eating contest, a Miss Italian Fest pageant, a Little King and Queen pageant, a homemade-wine contest, a homemade-beer contest, a grape-stomping contest and bocce and morra tournaments.

The Italian Heritage Foundation of Youngstown, the nonprofit organization that hosts the event, uses profits from the festival to help charitable organizations.

The organization has donated about $150,000 to local charities since 1992, Rossetti said.

Also, it gives four $1,000 scholarships to Youngstown State University students annually.


1Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 6 years ago

$12 for a family of 4 just to get in the "door"? Naa I'll stay home and order some westgate pizza

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2laddjd(15 comments)posted 6 years ago

Charging entrance fees have become the norm... It helps keep out trouble and is well worth it.

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3AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 6 years ago

Hell...why not buy a frozen Gigiorno Pizza and save even more?? With the money you save, buy some Totino's pizza rolls for appetizers!

$3 for the entertainment they provide is

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4Nunya22(315 comments)posted 6 years ago

Yes three dollars is cheap but can add up if you have a big family or if you may ride the bus. Then you also need to look at you will be buying food and you will have to pay for games and rides as well. Since they are charging a fee of 3 dollars I hope it is ten times better than last year downtown.

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5kids2028(87 comments)posted 6 years ago

Yes, I sorta agree on a big family, it can get expensive.
But if you don't, it's a great place to
attend Mass, and ALL the Music Events, and Entertainment. Some of those stars don't perform cheap.
and all you have to pay for is food.
The rest is free for parking, and all the
Abiance, and greet old and new friends.
Especially if you are of Italian Heritage,
bring your children, and let them
be educated in the Heritage. It is a wonderful Nationality and so glad
I am ITALIAN. If it is just as GOOD as
last year, it will be great!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Come on down. and The profits go
for a good cause and always did.
From parents of sons who work VERY hard each year to put this on, but they
enjoy doing it, and so should you
by attending.

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6mikeymike(469 comments)posted 6 years ago

@AKRFI that's not pizza,it's cardboard with sauce,lol.Wedgewood in Austintown has the best pizza around.

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years ago

"“People enjoy being downtown and getting to see the revitalization of Youngstown,” Rossetti said."

I'll check out the food but I haven't seen a whole lot of revitalization downtown . The hot weather has driven the bums away for now from the downtown so the fest should be uneventful .

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8kids2028(87 comments)posted 6 years ago

To USA1- Yes, I am an Italian-American.and proud to be an American.I never said I wasn't.   But I still was very proud of my Dad who immagrated here from Italy in 1924, and was trulyan American and brought us up to be too, but not to forget our Heritage. But the Music is wonderful, and it bring backa lot of Great Wonderful Memories for me.To Stan- Why jinx it before it starts?With you allegations that Bums will or will not attend.

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9cambridge(4163 comments)posted 6 years ago

It would be worth returning to Y-town for the festival knowing that the USEless1 wouldn't be attending.

Viva Italia!

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10300(573 comments)posted 6 years ago

Hitler and Mussolini.......both well known for their socialist viewpoints!

I guess your grandmother also hated history and reading. Must be genetic.

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11Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 6 years ago

wedgewood premakes their pizza I want a fresh pizza

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12VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 6 years ago

I want perogie's. do they make Italian perogie's?

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13cambridge(4163 comments)posted 6 years ago

Sure, their called raviolis. Their exactly the same except for the type of dough, filling and sauce.

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14kids2028(87 comments)posted 6 years ago

Wedgewood does NOT pre make their pizza. You can see them making
the dough, and then put toppings on.

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