Italian Street Festival features food, culture and pageantry in downtown Indy

by | Places, Featured Destinations

Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Indianapolis will once again host its popular Italian street festival June 9 – 10 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the historic Catholic church at 520 Stevens St. in downtown Indianapolis. During the event, the area will transform into an outdoor Italian plaza with food, music, bocce and more. The annual summer event is free, with plenty of Italian food and drinks available for purchase.

“Every year, we are thrilled to invite the community to this exciting event that brings together the best in local entertainment, fantastic food and cultural fun,” said Holy Rosary’s Fr. C. Ryan McCarthy. “During the Italian Street Festival, everyone is invited to experience our Italian traditions.”

The festival features more than 25 different Italian meats, pastas, salads and desserts in a festive setting with a display of Italian-made Ducati bikes and Vespa scooters, Italian music and an old-world style religious procession with vocal accompaniment provided by the Indianapolis Opera before Saturday evening mass.

On Friday and Saturday afternoons of the festival, the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana will host bocce demonstrations. All are welcome to play bocce at the courts in Lacy Park or learn how to play the historic Italian game. The Lacy Park Bocce Courts are located at McCarty and Greer streets at the south end of the church.

Additionally, there is a 7 p.m. mass on Saturday, June 10, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. At 6:45 p.m., a colorful, Italian religious procession, with a Blessed Virgin statue, priests, servers and members of the Italian Heritage Society, will make its way through the festival to the church.

New to the festival is a Kids & Family Fun Space that includes inflatable attractions featuring an America Warrior obstacle course. Guests can enjoy four of Indy’s most popular live music acts. Fans of Caruso and Frank Sinatra will also be entertained as classic Italian music favorites are played over the festival public address system.

Proceeds from the annual festival support the Church Operation Fund and the community the church serves. The Italian Street Festival organizers volunteer their expertise to create the family-friendly environment where everyone can experience Italian-American food and culture.

“Most would say the attraction of the festival is the variety of Italian food offerings,” said festival volunteer Kay Feeney-Caito, noting that 200 volunteers help make the festival happen – including the food. “My close friend Lisa Meister serves as the kitchen manager. She has the ultimate responsibility of ordering, preparing and serving approximately 30,000 attendees. She’s my hero!”
Free parking during the festival is available in the Eli Lilly lots on East and New Jersey streets. For more info, find the fest on Facebook here or check the church website.

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