If all Clevelanders are a little bit Irish on St. Paddy's Day and a little bit Polish on Dyngus Day, then during the Feast of the Assumption, we're all Italian - if only for a few days. "The Feast," as the locals call it, takes over Cleveland's historic Little Italy neighborhood and turns it into a five-block long sea of marinara. This is one of the busiest ethnic festivals of the year and a save-the-date event for locals.
What To Do There:
- There's plenty of drinking that goes on here, but let's be clear: The Feast is all about the food. Once a thriving Italian immigrant community, Little Italy is still home to many of the city's second- and third-generation Italian-Americans. And with that history comes a thriving dining scene for anyone in the mood for cavatelli and sauce, sausage and peppers, or linguini and clams. This is good news for Feast-goers because all of Little Italy's restaurants set up booths outside their storefronts and offer the throngs of hungry visitors the most authentic Italian-American fare that Cleveland has to offer.
What Else to Do:
- Look, just about anything you do during the Feast is going to be done with a slice of pizza or a cannoli in your hand. But there is plenty going on. Several restaurants open their doors (even if they're serving food outside) and hold live concerts, dance parties or themed music events. There are also booths dedicated to Italian goods and knick knacks.
- The Feast's final day is the day of the actual Feast Mass - held at the historic Holy Rosary Church - and procession that winds through Little Italy's narrow streets.
Tips for Attending:
- While there is some parking available in Little Italy, you're not going to have much luck finding a free space, and even the pay-lots fill up fast. Luckily, there is an RTA Red Line stop in Little Italy in perfect proximity to the event. Leave the car. Take the cannoli.
- The heart and soul of the Little Italy neighborhood is Holy Rosary Church. For more than a century, the church, parish and neighborhood have commemorated the Catholic Holy Day of Assumption and the proceeding week, which is the reason behind the Feast. Festival planners encourage visitors to understand, appreciate and respect the basis of this popular neighborhood festival by learning more here.