The 7th Annual Taylor Street Festa Italiana opened on Thurs., Aug. 22, and runs through Sun. Aug. 25. The festival of Italian pride is a celebration of Italian culture, music, dancing food, fashion and fun.
Taylor Street Festa Italiana honors the heritage of Italian immigrants who settled in the Little Italy neighborhood at the turn of the 20th century.The gathering features Taylor Street’s renowned restaurants, live entertainment, the highly anticipated Turano Baking Company and Fontanini Meatball Eating Contest, grape stomping, bocce ball and more. This popular Chicago festival attracts over 50,000 guests in four days.
“Festa Italiana provides a great time for everyone who is of Italian heritage or wants to be Italian for a few days,” says Kathy Catrambone, Executive Director of the University Village Association in Chicago’s historic Little Italy. “We know Little Italy is one of the city’s best neighborhoods, and the Festa gives us an opportunity to show it off.”
The fest offers three main stages of entertainment, featuring Italian-inspired solo artists and musical groups, rock bands. With jumpers, carnival rides and the Turano Baking Company and Fontanini Meatball Eating Contest.
Kids will feel included in the family friendly fest because kid-friendly entertainment and educational arts and culture presentations are also offered. The Festa Italiana Kids’ Stage presents Radio Disney, The Happiness Club, Jabberwocky Marionettes and storytelling by Language Arts Academy.
Emmy-winning television personality and Chicago native Mark DeCarlo will appear at the Rosebud West Stage. to co-host a cooking demonstration by Rosebud Chef Joe Farina, the Italian Fashion Show and a featured performance of the Italian Folk Dance Tarantella by the Amici Italiani Dance Troupe. He also will host his popular Quiz Show Italia and Italian Cooking Challenge with prizes to include a camcorder and a five-day hotel stay in Cancun!
Enjoy the harmony of Italian music with crooners adding to the ambiance.
There will be dancing in the streets…some of the talent to bring Italian music to the ambiance sponsored by Rosebud Restaurants include:
Fri.: Joe Martino & The Volare Dancers, Moreno Fruzzetti, The Hat Guys, Matt O'Ree Band, Spiral
Sat.: Rat Pack Jazz ( 3 p.m.), SOCO7 (7 p.m.), Tony Spavone (8:30 p.m.) and 60s teen idol Bobby Rydell (9:30 p.m.).
Sun.: Packy Angelo, Todd Hembrook & Hemisphere,
Plus there is a line up of pop and rock entertainment such as This Must Be The Band, Acoustic Generation, Jaw Potato Band, Soundtrack Serenade, s, Grood, The Break, Old Timey and Ten Foot Tail.
Remember the traditional Italian games such as Scopa, Open Play and Team Play Bocce on the Taylor Street Bocce Court for all skill levels and the 2 Annual Vintage Lounge Great Grape Stomp, a fun-filled contest on Friday and Saturday nights with a Public Stomp on Saturday.
Tayler Street Festa Italiana is open: Thurs. (5–11 p.m.), Fri.: (5–11 p.m.),Sat. (12 – 11 p.m.), and Sun., (2 – 10 p.m.) at Taylor Street, between Racine Street and Ashland Avenue in Chicago’s Historic Little Italy. Suggested donation $5 per person, children under 12 are Free.
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