COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Italian Festival returns this weekend, marking 42 years celebrating Italian traditions, food, music and more.
The Italian Festival runs this Friday through Sunday at the corner of Hamlet Street and Lincoln Street around St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. The festival will feature live entertainment, authentic food, vendors and a parade.
Two stages will host music throughout the festival. The traditional stage will be home to female trio Tre Bella, the Italian Concert Band, San Giovanni Dancers and more. The contemporary stage will host Dante Brunetto, Long Play, Gayla Smith and others.
Performing Saturday and closing the festival Sunday is Broadway actor Nick Cosgrove in a tribute to Frankie Valli. Cosgrove tackled the role of Valli in “Jersey Boys” on Broadway and in the touring production. Valli will be joined by the Rick Brunetto Big Band for hits like “Sherry” and “Oh What a Night.”
Food at the festival will be plentiful, with traditional Italian favorites, veal parmesan, stromboli and more.
Festivalgoers can visit the cultural booth for a look inside Italian life from linguists, bakers, artists, pasta makers, baristas and more. Italian-language students from local Catholic high schools will also invite guests to learn a few Italian words and how to make Italian dishes.
A favorite at the festival, the bocce competition, is back with teams competing all day Saturday and Sunday.
The festival will be open from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets are available for $10 for Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and for $15 for a three-day pass. Kids younger than 12 are free with adult admission. Purchase tickets online here.
Shuttle parking is available at the Columbus State Community College south lot at Long and Cleveland. Shuttles are running from 3:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Masks are required on the shuttles.