Youngstown festival celebrates Italian history with games, food

Aug 24, 2021 211

BY: Alexis Walters

As festivals make their comeback, there’s one on Youngstown’s north side this weekend that may be small in size — running only about two blocks — but has a huge history and attracts quite the crowd. It was 30 years ago, the streets of Brier Hill neighborhood lit up for the first time with the Brier Hill Festival.

“This was where the first Italian immigrants in this city settled. Ten thousand people lived right below Saint Anthony’s to Dearborn,” said Joe Naples, founder of the festival. You can still look over the hill and see the steel mills. Thirty years later, not much has changed. “People who moved out of the area, they come back. We have people that come from all over the country to come here,” Naples said.

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