Known by many as Indianapolis’ ethnic event of the summer, Holy Rosary’s Italian Street Festival will surely please the palate of anyone fond of meats, pastas, breads, beer, wine, pizza and salads.
The festival will once again transform the grounds of the historic Catholic church, 520 Stevens St., and adjacent Lacy Park into a celebration of food, wine and song from 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Woomblies will headline Friday’s musical entertainment, with Spinrut and the Cool City Band performing Saturday. Free parking is available at the Eli Lilly and Co. lots on East and New Jersey streets.
“We are thrilled to invite the community to this exciting event that brings together the best in local entertainment, fantastic food and cultural fun,” the Rev. C. Ryan McCarthy said. There will also be carnival rides, games and bocce (similar to lawn bowling) demonstrations both afternoons.
The festival holds a deep meaning for the city’s older Italian families: the Cosaros, Pages, Iarias, Bovas, Romanos, Caitos and Mascaris, all first- and second-generation parish founders who played a major role in launching the festival in 1937. The event was discontinued at an unknown date before enjoying a rebirth in 1983.
Other founders include Mary and Sal Mascari, Margaret and Ricky Minardo, Pete and Katie Corsaro, Mag Corsaro, Alberta and Bernie Greene Sr. and Bill and Alice DeLaCruz. Their children and grandchildren got involved at a young age and learned from the best while devoting many hours to the cause.
Always a highlight is the Italian religious procession, which begins before the 7 p.m. Mass Saturday.
A small army of volunteers will team to pull off the extravaganza, which is expected to attract as many as 15,000 people. Hundreds of tables will be set up, food booths erected, miles of lights strung ... and don’t forget the beer trucks.