Italian American Festival opens tomorrow

The 15th annual Southington Italian American Festival will take place July 26, 27 and 28 with opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 26. Hosted by non-profit organizations— the Sons of Italy, Sorelle d’Italia and the UNICO Club of Southington— this family event promotes Italian heritage and culture within the community.

A wide range of entertainment is scheduled on the Lower Center Street stage starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and continuing through 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The festival will open with Marcello Spargna and Teo Ricciardella before the official opening ceremonies. The Italian Tarantella (Le Sorelle e Pulcinella) will take the stage next, followed by a Frankie Valli tribute band, The Jersey Four.

On Saturday, the festival re-opens at 1 p.m. with the Sam Vinci Quintet, followed by Charley Tiernan, “The Graceful Tenor” Vittorio DiCarlo, and Grazianna Maria Lazzaro. The Italian Tarantella will return to the mainstage at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday night festivities will close with Blaise “Biagio” Benevenga.

Sunday’s entertainment will open at 12:30 p.m. with the New England Head Over Heels show band, followed by Greg Allen (Malt Shoppe Memories Show). A raffle drawing and closing ceremonies will take place at 5 p.m.

A children’s carnival, face painting, a wine-making contest and more are scheduled throughout the weekend.

Also featured will be a traditional outdoor Italian mass at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 28, followed by a street procession with the statue of the Madonna della Strada.

This year’s proceeds from the festival’s beverage booth will benefit the Southington Veterans Committee and Southington Community Services.

According to the Southington Police Department, Center Street will be closed between Liberty Street and Factory Square for the duration of the festival. There will be no parking on North Liberty Street, portions of Liberty Street, High Street, Factory Square, and portions of Center Street.

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