Mother Nature must have been excited for the return of the Festa Italiana in Bradford, after its pandemic-caused hiatus, that she blessed the region with glorious weather on Friday, with even more pleasant temperatures and another day of sunshine expected. today.
A day of fun awaits the whole family at the festival on Festival Way in Bradford from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. with a fireworks display due to start at 10.15 p.m.
Whether you come to Festa Italiana to reconnect with family and friends, entertain the kids for the day, or just grab a delicious bite, there’s bound to be entertainment, games, or food to keep you entertained. all.
“I come to I-Fest year after year, and not having the option of this full festival for the past two years has been a little disappointing,” said Bradford resident Cash Gallo. “But he’s back and I’m happy to be able to stop this year. Now excuse me while I go to queue for good food and refreshments.
Instead of a few concerts, the Festa Italiana committee decided this year to reserve a full program of artists for the event. The band’s line-up for today begins with the Kokomo Time Band from 11am-2pm, then Billy and the Neptunes will rock the stage from 2-5pm, 6-9pm. Vinny and Mudflaps will perform before Rockmaninov closes in the evening from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
For alternative entertainment, kids can visit some of their favorite characters, who will be wandering around the festival all day today greeting kids and taking pictures. There are also plenty of vendor stalls with games and prizes, as well as bouncy houses and inflatable slides.
According to Festa Italiana committee chair Mary Ann Colestro, there are about 30 to 50 vendors who will be selling food or providing entertainment with game kiosks this year. Vendors consist of community groups, organizations, clubs, sports teams, etc. All funds raised during the festival are given back to the community through these groups – however, they do not do so for donations.
“We’re just having a great time bringing the guys together,” said IAFF Local #655 President Mike Campogiani. “We also really appreciate the opportunity to be in the community and see all the people here, the people we don’t usually see.”
Food, ranging from classic Italian dishes to sweet pastries, and beverage vendors will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
“While we always stop to eat during the day, we also return on Fridays and more often Saturday nights to the festival to see old friends,” said Bradford resident Stephanie Peterson. “The pandemic has not only brought the festival to a halt, it has also prevented us from reuniting with our friends and classmates. Every year most of my classmates who have moved from the area will take a special trip to Bradford just to the Festa Italiana. We look forward to it every year and are really happy to have it back.
Residents, returning residents and visitors will be able to enjoy sightseeing with each other while watching a well-planned fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. tonight.
The fireworks display was made possible through donations.
“Although I was not born in Bradford, I have always appreciated all the hard work that goes into the Italian Festival,” said Shane Oschman, Executive Director of the City of Bradford’s Office of Economic and Community Development. “It gives so many people the opportunity to ‘come home’ and visit family and friends. But it also gives visitors another reason to come to our city and visit our delicious restaurants, our unique and charming shops and our beautiful historic district. What a great weekend for Bradford!