New music, vendors on display tonight at Italian fest on Central Square


Red, white and green was the dominant color in downtown Youngstown Friday during the first night of the 33rd annual Greater Youngstown Italian Fest.

The festival will continue through the weekend, wrapping up on Sunday, and features music on two stages each night, raffles, food and retail vendors and a variety of contests.

Hours for the festival are 1 to 11 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.

As usual, the smell of Italian sausage, pizza and garlic hung over downtown’s Central Square while thousands of attendees wandered through the lanes of tents and trailers.

While the event is certainly a celebration of the Italian immigrants who came to the area to work in the mines and later, the steel mills in the region, it has grown to include food from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, including barbecue, Chinese stir fry and Cajun fare.

Arlene DeChellis, president of the Italian Heritage Foundation — the organization behind the festival, said over the years the festival has grown and that each year they try to correct the problems of the year before and bring in new performers and vendors.

Read more about the event in Saturday's Vindicator or on

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