Youngstown’s Mount Carmel Italian festival ready to open


ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

THURSDAY

Social Hall

5-6 p.m.: John Gabriele

7-8 p.m.: Little Prince and Princess Pageant

9-10:30 p.m.: Jim Frank Combo

Main Stage

5-6 p.m.: Italian Music Serenade

6-8 p.m.: Franco Simone

8:30-10:30 p.m.: Avanti Band

FRIDAY

Social Hall

5-6:30 p.m.: John Gabriele

7-8 p.m.: Opening ceremony

8:45-10:45 p.m.: Rex Taneri

Main Stage

5-6 p.m.: Italian Music Serenade

6-8 p.m.: D-Major

8:30-10:30 p.m.: Gli Italiani

SATURDAY

Social Hall

6-8 p.m.: Frank Gallo

8:30-10:30 p.m.: Jim Frank Combo

Main Stage

6-7:15 p.m.: Mirella the Musician

7:30-8:30 p.m.: Dominic Tocco and the Brotherhood

9:30-10:45 p.m.: Moreno Fruzzetti

SUNDAY

Social Hall

2-4 p.m.: John Gabriele

4:30-6:30 p.m.: Butch Nichols Band

7-8 p.m.: Rex Taneri

Main Stage

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

3-4:30 p.m.: Avanti Band

4:45-6 p.m.: Nunzio

6:30-8 p.m.: Moreno Fruzzetti

8:15-9:45 p.m.: D-Major

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

The 20th annual Our Lady of Mount Carmel Italian Festival will return this week.

The ethnic festival will open Thursday and run through July 29 on the grounds of the Basilica of OLMC, near Choffin Career Center.

Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 10 p.m. July 29. Admission is $4.

The event, directed by Frank Frattaroli, strives to present an authentic Italian-American street fest, and each year it honors two citizens at the opening ceremony on Friday evening.

The 2018 Woman of the Year title has been awarded to Phyllis Ricchiuti, while Man of the Year went to Don Ronyak. The Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to Ann Desimone.

Additionally there will be $1,000 scholarships to Youngstown State University awarded to two students for their for academic and community service excellence.

A hightlight of the festival is the nonstop music in the entertainment tent and in the social hall, and this year’s featured artist will be Italian-born vocalist Moreno Fruzzetti, who proved very popular in past appearances. Fruzzetti will perform in the tent at 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Dominic Tocco and the Brotherhood will precede Fruzzetti on Saturday.

Another featured entertainer will be Pittsburgh’s Mirella the Musician, as well as local favorites Gli Italiani, Rex Taneri, John Gabriele, Avanti Band, Butch Nichols Band, Jim Frank Combo, Frank Gallo, D-Major, Nunzio and Franco Simone.

The OLMC fest will begin Thursday with the Little Prince and Princess Pageant at 7 p.m. in the Social Hall. The contest for boys and girls age 4 to 9 will be hosted by local WYTV television personality Jim Loboy.

Another tradition is the procession after noon Mass on Sunday, July 29. Led by a group of the church’s youth bearing the flags of Italy’s regions, along with members of the Knights of Columbus and the Man and Woman of the Year honorees, the procession will travel down Via Mount Carmel and back through the midway. It will conclude with a concert by the Lowellville Band.

Other traditional festival highlights will include a midway full of authentic Italian food and merchandise vendors, and a silent auction with more than 200 items that will run all four days.

The children’s area has been expanded with a craft area chaired by Christine Cipriano. Children will be entertained and also leave with a souvenir that they made. The children’s area will also include games, a bounce-a-round and train and pony rides.

The annual Italo Antonini Memorial Morra Tournament will take place Friday at 6 p.m. Registration is at 5 p.m.

The homemade wine contest will take place Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

As always, there will be free parking, with a fleet of buses and golf cart operators providing free shuttle service, in the OLMC lots and also at these nearby locations: United Way buiding, IBM building, Levinson Tire, the YMCA and Choffin Career Center.

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