Italian Festival opens this weekend

By JEN CARDINES

STAFF WRITER

The booths are up, and a new sign is hanging over Main Street to welcome the Italian-American Festival to Center Street this weekend. In its 13th year, the annual festival promises a wide range of activities for locals to enjoy throughout the weekend.

Southington’s summer classic kicks off this Friday, July 28, at 5 p.m., and concludes on Sunday, July 30, at 6 p.m.

Since its launch, the summer festival has had one purpose: to promote and support Italian heritage and culture in the Southington community. It is sponsored by Sons of Italy, Sorelle D’ Italia in America and Southington UNICO.

Festival hours are Friday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, from noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Live entertainment, food tents and booths, and a children’s carnival will run throughout the weekend.

This year, the committee decided to fill the entertainment space with live performance bands that will play in time blocks, rather than individual acts that were shorter. While the bands take breaks, other performers—who will be announced at the festival—will take the stage to fill the gap.

While there is no meatball eating contest this year, the annual homemade wine tasting contest will kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

On Sunday, at 10 a.m., the festival features an outdoor Italian mass followed by a procession with the statue of the Madonna della Strada.

Each year, two local organizations are chosen as beneficiaries from funds raised throughout the weekend. All proceeds from beverages sold during the 2017 festival will benefit the United Way of Southington and Southington Community Services.

The Italian-American Festival opens on Friday. For 13 years, the annual festival has championed Italian culture. Above, locals dole out Italian-inspired food at last year’s festival.

For parking and detours, click below:

Police announce parking and traffic restrictions for Italian-American Festival

 

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