Street performers, delicious food, music, and entertainment—that’s All Things Italian!
After ten fun-filled years, the All Things Italian Street Festival will fill its final cannoli this year on Saturday, June 13. Known for combining Italian art, music, and culture with delicious Italian food, the festival has been a favorite destination for Iowans since it began as a part of the 1st Fridays Art Walk in 2006. But this year’s festival will be something special, as many of the performers from the past will come back to Fairfield to take a final bow. That’s right—this will be the tenth and final All Things Italian Festival.
The festival routinely brings as many as 5,000 people to Fairfield, and this year organizers hope to set a new record. Over 200 volunteers help with everything from preparing lasagna to organizing the entertainment and educational venues. Mayor Ed Malloy will lead Team Cannoli, preparing the famous sweet treats to be served on Saturday night.
“We have been very fortunate over the past decade to have instituted some very strong cultural events that have come to define our community as one of the most creative and imaginative in the state,” Mayor Malloy said. “None of those great community celebrations that we open up to the whole State of Iowa has been more magical and successful than the SOFIA All Things Italian Street Festival.”
Dick DeAngelis, president of the Society of Fairfield Italian Americans, emphasizes the community involvement that has been integral to the festival’s success. “I just kind of dreamed it up and with a few friends, we executed the plan,” he said. “It’s all of Fairfield that has embraced this festival and made it such a great success. Now it’s become a part of Fairfield’s history that we hope people will remember for years to come.”
All Things Italian Street Festival in Fairfield is one of the best in the country!
When asked, DeAngelis says there is no one reason why this is the final year of the festival. “It’s just time,” he said. “And it’s always best to leave when you’re on top, it’s going well, and we’re all still passionate about it.” Passionate is a good word for the infectious positivity and optimism that gathers around the big Italian American.
DeAngelis is most proud that the festival has been able to showcase many of the good things Italians have brought to America. The educational workshops, artists, and entertainers introduce people to a different, more authentic Italian American experience. A festival goer may come for the cannoli and the lasagna, but also learn about Italian art, enjoy traditional music, or try a traditional dance.
Why has this festival been such a big hit for the past ten years? DeAngelis believes it’s because the entire festival is based on love, a gift he received in abundance from his parents. “To me, my entire life is all about happiness, love, and family. Now we’ve just created a bigger family.”
The All Things Italian Street Festival will be held from 5-9 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, on the Fairfield square. Come be a part of a big Italian family one more time.
If you would like to support the All Things Italian Festival in some way, call (641) 919-4277 or visit facebook.com/ allthingsitalianfestival.