The Greater Youngstown Italian Festival will take place Friday through Sunday, Aug. 5-7, along four blocks of Federal Street, downtown. The event typically draws approximately 50,000 people over its three days. It will feature food from over 30 Italian restaurants and food vendors, continuous entertainment on two stages, retail vendors, a morra tou...

For the first time since 2019, the Mount Carmel Italian Festival has returned to Youngstown. The festival was canceled for the last two years due to the pandemic. Chairman of the festival Scott Schulick said this is one of the biggest fundraisers for the church. They did lose some of their older volunteers because of fear of COVID but this year, th...

Lent begins next Wednesday but the Italian community of Youngstown celebrated their own Mardi Gras Friday night called Carnivale. At the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel social hall Friday night, guests indulged in traditional Italian dishes and drinks. Their goal was to try to persuade Youngstown State University to change its decision to end its Italian St...

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica has set its annual Carnevale di Venezia, or Italian Mardi Gras, for 6 p.m. Friday at the church’s social hall, 343 Via Mt. Carmel, Youngstown. “The event promotes the support and study of Italian language and culture in the Mahoning Valley,” reads a news release. Festival-goers can enjoy Italian cuisine and “specia...

In case you're unaware, Youngstown State University just dropped one of the most fundamental majors contributing to the education of our culture and heritage: Italian and Italian Education. I cannot begin to fathom that they would cut this when Youngstown was once thriving with 20-30,000 Italian immigrants in Briar Hill. Italians contributed to mak...

Bocce players throughout northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania know about Cassese’s MVR in Youngstown. The landmark restaurant, with its covered outdoor courts and bar, is a glorious setting for the bowling game. Tournaments there draw players from several states. On the local side, The MVR’s 86-team league has matches every night. It’s likely...

Two buildings on the Youngstown State University campus will get new names in recognition of a donation from John J. and Janet Cafaro and their daughters, the Honorable Capri Silvestri Cafaro and Renee Lynne Cafaro. “Our heartfelt thanks to J.J. and Jan for this generous gift and continued strong support for the university, our students and the ent...

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 i...

The organizers of the Greater Youngstown Italian Fest believe in tradition. In a year when they had less time to plan than usual, that’s a good thing, according to chairman John Rossetti. “We didn’t get the OK until the beginning of June, but we started planning in March, April and May to get it done correctly. That’s where we’re at with it. Slowly...

People preserve their family history in scrapbooks or family trees. One family in Youngstown has preserved theirs in a podcast. The podcast is hosted by Marco Zaza, who grew up on Youngstown’s east side in the 50s, and his son David, a Boardman graduate. As it turns out, their stories are more than just their family. With Italian music in the backg...