Are you going to Taylor Street’s Taste of Italy at Festa Italiana 2012 in Chicago? You can engage in the “Great Grape Stomp” at the Vintage Lounge and take your picture in front of the replica of the Trevi Fountain or participate in the Meatball Eating Contest.
You have to go to Rome to see the real Trevi Fountain.
Italian neighborhoods in Chicago celebrate summer with annual traditions in historic Italian neighborhoods. Taylor Street was the port-of-call for many Italians who immigrated to Chicago from the shores of southern Italy. This landmark Southern Italian neighborhood hosts an annual “Festa Italiana” from August 9-12, 2012.
This year you can see the Legendary Drifters perform on Friday night and Sunday night! Listen to them play their famous repertoire including: “On Broadway”, “Dance with Me”, “Saturday Night at the Movies“, “Under the Boardwalk”, “There Goes my Baby”, “This Magic Moment“ and “Save the Last Dance for Me”. There are plenty of dancing opportunities at this annual event.
Hours: Thur 5 – 9pm, Fri 5 – 10pm, Saturday 12 – 11pm, Sun 12 – 9pm
WHERE: Little Italy
Address: Taylor St. at Ashland Ave. Chicago, IL 60606
Here’s the 2012 Entertainment Line-up from their FaceBook Page:
Ron Hawking; The Legendary Drifters; Dominic Mantuano; Moreno Fruzzetti; Tony Spavone; Peter Guerin; John Vincent; Packy Angelo Ciaravino; Aaron Caruso Hairbangers Ball; This Must Be the Band (Talking Heads tribute); Mike & Joe; The Breakfast Club; Your Villian My Hero; Liquid Soul; Hot Sauce Committtee; Jaw Potato and more!
Here’s the entertainment schedule from the webpage:
Thursday, August 9 through Sunday, August 12
Festa Hours: Thursday 5pm to 10 pm / Friday 5pm to 10pm / Saturday 12pm to 10pm / Sunday 12pm to 9pm
5:00 Opening Introductions / Anthem’s 6:00 Jaw Potato 5:30 Dj’s Dominic Cantore & Lenny Laino
5:30 Joe Martino & The Volare Dancers 8:00 Breakfast Club 7:30 TBD
6:45 Packy Angelo Ciaravino
8:15 Moreno Fruzzetti
5:00 Joe Martino & The Volare Dancers 5:00 Ten Foot Tail 5:30 Brooklyn James
7:00 The Legendary Drifters 6:15 Your Villain My Hero 7:30 Nick Pontarelli
8:15 Moreno Fruzzetti 8:00 This Must Be The Band
1:00 Dick Sisto featuring Bobby Broom Trio 12:30 Acoustic Generation 1:00 TBD
2:30 Rosebud Chef Demo, Michael Ponzio 2:30 Brooklyn James 3:00 Dj’s Dominic Cantore & Lenny Laino
3:30 Packy Angelo Ciaravino 4:00 Hot Sauce Committee 3:30 Grape Stomping Contest, Vintage Lounge
4:30 Italian Fashion by Zzazz Productions 6:00 Liquid Soul 5:00 Hurricane Reggae
5:00 Tony Spavone 8:00 Mike & Joe 7:00 TBD
5:45 Peter Guerin 9:00 Dj’s Dominic Cantore & Lenny Laino
6:30 Aaron Caruso
7:15 Dominic Mantuano
8:45 Ron Hawking
12:30 Packy Angelo Ciaravino 1:00 Acoustic Generation 1:00 Dick Sisto featuring Bobby Broom Trio
2:30 Rosebud Chef Demo, Michael Ponzio 3:00 Nick Pontarelli 3:00 Hurricane Reggae
3:30 John Vincent 5:00 Liquid Soul 5:00 Packy Angelo Ciaravino
4:45 Tony Spavone 7:00 Hairbangers Ball 7:00 Brooklyn James
5:45 Peter Guerin
6:45 Aaron Caruso
8:00 The Legendary Drifters
Here’s a link to the schedule:
There’s also a fun Italian Festival held annually over Father’s Day Weekend at 24th and Oakley in Chicago. For information on that Festival visit: http://wp.me/pRq9Q-3Ea
Here’s a short video of the Festival
They anticipate 55,000 visitors to the historic Italian neighborhood over the weekend and many will be Italian American. Many suburban Italians, whose roots trace back to Taylor Street maintain a regular pilgrimage to “the old neighborhood” on the near-west side.
Many businesses have been in this neighborhood for many generations like Chicago’s legendary Gonnella bread family.
Alex Dana runs the famed Rosebud Chain in Chicago and has earned his own street sign in the neighborhood. The Taylor Street location has an incredible outdoor space for dining alfresco.
The festival is a mecca for foodies who want to enjoy Italian cuisine and listen to live entertainment on multiple stages.
This weekend when you attend the annual event on Taylor Street on the near-west side of Chicago, you can enjoy treats from the food booths of legendary establishments like Rosebud, Pompei and Francesca’s as well as new-comers like Ethyl’s Beer and Wine Dive.
Trattoria-style restaurants, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and the historic Roman Catholic churches like the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and Holy Family populate Chicago’s most popular Little Italy precinct.
Visit Joe DiMaggio Piazza with the fountain. Enjoy a frozen lemonade from Mario’s Italian Lemonade or an Italian Beef sandwich. I enjoyed the “Juicy” (dipped in gravy) combination beef/sausage from The Patio food booth and the baked clams from Pompei. All of my friends that are not from Chicago make fun of the way I say “saaaa-sage.”
Buy some olive oil from the “Italian Iron Chef”. The Conte di Savoia Italian grocer and deli are offering meatball sandwiches, Italian subs and Italian desserts. Scafuri’s bakery will all be offering tasty cookies. Don’t forget to take a stroll in Arrigo (Peanut) Park to see the statue of Columbus.
Last year, I went on Thursday night so I could see the “Bronx Wanderers” at the Italia Stage. On Sunday night, attendees listened to the Rat Pack Tribute to Frank, Dean and Sammy. There is also a Rock Stage with live entertainment.
The Italian West-Fest will be held on the same weekend in August in Addison Illinois on Route 53 and Lake Street with entertainment by Onesti @ www.oshows.com.
You can see the Bronx Wanderers and James Darren!
Here’s a list of Italian Festivals around the country: http://www.niaf.org/research/festivals.asp
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com
- Festa Pasta Vino in Little Tuscany in Chicago (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Festa Italiana Presents Artisans for 2012 Festa Italiana July 19-22nd 2012 (valorieschleicher.wordpress.com)