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This directory lists over 200 Italian festivals held in states around the country. The directory supplies each festival’s name, month, city, state and website. The directory was compiled by the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA). This directory is updated annually, but please be advised that there may be slight discrepancies due to availability of updated information provided
The custom of honoring favorite saints with outdoor ceremonies was brought to America more than 100 years ago by the early Italian immigrants. The festivals vary in size and character. Some consist of only the saint’s statue, a band and a procession while others are colossal celebrations that last several days and include symphonic bands, entertainers, food stands, rides and fireworks. A familiar sight at most festivals is the saint’s statue covered with money or jewelry, later donated to the local church or saint’s society.
The oldest festival is believed to be the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Hammonton, NJ. The biggest festival is the Feast of San Gennaro held every September in New York City, which attracts about one million people. Large festivals can also be found in West Virginia (Wheeling’s Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival in July and Clarksburg’s Italian Heritage Festival in September) and in Wisconsin (Milwaukee’s Festa Italiana in July), among others.
To add your festival to next year’s directory, please contact the OSDIA headquarters in Washington, D.C. by e-mail to email@example.com. [No telephone calls, please]. Send the name of the festival, month held, city, state and a contact person or organization with a telephone number and/or email address.
Do you have a festival you would like us to add to the next directory? E-mail us!
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