One of the most popular parties of the summer gets underway this evening in Little Italy.

The Saint Paul Italian Festival was first held in 1980 and celebrates the culture of Erie’s Italian community.

Friday night was the pasta e-fagioli dinner, but that’s just the start of the menu. All kinds of great food is available, including the traditional spaghetti dinner which takes place on Sunday, don’t forget the music and dancing.

The Italian Festival is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Saint Paul Parish and Friday night’s crowd did not disappoint.

“We’re doing pretty good, ya know. We have a nice crowd here right now and we’ve got nice weather and that’s the key,” said Ron DiVecchio, festival organizer.

The Saint Paul Italian Festival continues all weekend long, Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to six p.m.