Lowellville’s Mt. Carmel Festival celebrating 126 years of the famous ‘baby doll dance’

Local News

LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – The crowds have been huge at Lowellville’s Mt. Carmel Festival so far this year. People are apparently using all of their energy saved up from the COVID-19 restrictions to attend festivals.

Lowellville’s main festival attraction is the annual baby doll dance, a tradition that dates back to Italy. This year is its 126th year.

Last year they still decided to hold it, even without all of the crowds.

“We wanted to keep that tradition. We kind of had a private one last year because we felt that was the year. It was 125 years last year and we really didn’t want to give that up, so we kind of did our own private little thing. In a COVID year, like, we have to do this, you know? But it’s tradition. It’s been around for a long time. A few places do it now — in a 75-mile radius there’s maybe 200 clubs that do it, but everywhere else… no one does it. It’s very unique for a club to keep this tradition, you know, we’re very lucky to keep it going,” said David Gagliano, festival organizer and president of the Mt. Carmel Society.

Gagliano says the dance is to ward off bad karma for the year.

Thursday night, the baby doll dance took place at 11 p.m. — a little later than usual to accommodate the huge crowds and the weather.

The festival will continue all weekend long on Washington Street.

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