26th Brier Hill fest gets underway tonight


YOUNGSTOWN

The Brier Hill Italian Festival is back for its 26th year.

At 6:30 Thursday evening, the neighborhood festival was well underway, with music from the Jim Frank Combo band kicking off the evening.

Despite the ominous clouds hanging over the Valley, scores of people were lined up at food vendors and occupying rows of tables set up for the weekend festivities.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, runs through Sunday at the corner of Victoria and Calvin streets in the Brier Hill neighborhood on Youngstown’s North Side.

Billing itself as the longest continuously running Italian festival in Youngstown — the Greater Youngstown Italian Festival technically has run longer, but took place at Canfield Fairgrounds for several years, the annual Brier Hill fest has become a holiday for many individuals with familial roots in the neighborhood.

Brier Hill was the site of the first of Youngstown’s Italian immigrant communities, and the festival — started by Dominic “Dee Dee” Modarelli, Joey Naples, Neil Buzzacco and Claire Maluso — was created as a celebration of the families and culture that shaped and were shaped by the neighborhood.

Read more about the event in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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