From sausages to pizza to cannoli, food is one of the biggest draws to the Italian Festival. Especially this years new item: The veal parmesan sandwich.
But for many, the Festival is more than just about the food. It’s about the neighborhood atmosphere.
“I think the most special thing is that people have ties to the neighborhood,” said Theresa Ferraro, co-chair of the Festival. “They were baptized at our church and went to school here. Got married here. Their parents grew up here.”
Ferraro said Little Italy holds a great bond for Italian-Americans like her. Family is very important.
“Like many other cultures, we are very family-oriented, and we are very loyal,” she said. “And the friends that we grew up with still mean a great deal to us.”
Jerry DeFazio grew up in Little Italy and always comes to the Festival.
“We have a common denominator: We grew up at St. Paul’s Church,” DeFazio said. “We were baptized at St. Paul’s Church, and we grew together. And now, we are coming back together.”
The Festival tries to use all local vendors, and the money raised goes back to the church. Volunteer Nick Cacchione has been helping out since he was little.
“It’s always a great time,” Cacchione said. “Just always having fun and raising money to help the community and help the church.”
The Festival continues Saturday and Sunday.
Organizers said if people are not comfortable coming to the festival in person, they are still offering carryout so people can still have the food.
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