YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Due to the Greater Youngstown Italian Festival, there will be some temporary traffic changes downtown.
Starting at 5 a.m. Wednesday, the following streets will be closed:
- Federal Street, from Phelps to Walnut streets
- Market Street, from Commerce to Boardman streets
- Champion Street, from Commerce to Boardman streets
The closures will run until 6 a.m. Monday.
The 36th annual festival opens at 11 a.m. on Friday, although, there will be some vendors open Thursday for lunch. The festivities officially start at 5 p.m. Friday and run through Sunday.
Festivities will entail over four city blocks of entertainment, including live performances, food and drink vendors, retail tents, contests and pageants. There will be two stages and two sets of entertainment each night. The fest features over 30 Italian restaurants and food vendors.
“The food is here. If you want your pasta or your sausage or braciole sandwich or even a charcuterie board, come down and get that. Get some wine with it or even beer, but there’s so much more,” said John Rossetti with the Greater Youngstown Italian Festival.
Other activities include:
- Italian Fest scholarship awards to YSU students
- Italian Fest Man and Woman of the Year presentations
- Pasta-eating contests
- Homemade wine and hot peppers in oil contests
- Sunday Mass with procession
- Venetian auction
Youngstown Event Coordinator Melanie-Clarke Panella says even though streets will be closed, there should be plenty of parking for people.
“There’s plenty of parking all of the parking lots are open. There may be some additional over at Covelli, but I know that they do have another event of their own going on Saturday. of course there’s street parking and there’s parking up at YSU,” Clarke-Panella said.
Clarke-Panella says she knows street closures with the ongoing construction can be frustrating, but urges everyone to be patient.
“Be safe, have a good time and be patient with the construction. Next year by the time this is all finished we’re all going to be glad we went through this together,” Clarke-Panella said.
The festival raises money for a non-profit foundation that gives donations to honor the Mahoning Valley’s Italian community.