92nd Italian Festa returns following pandemic hiatus

Published: Aug. 13, 2023 at 3:59 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - The pasta and music were flowing during one of Central Illinois’ longest-running traditions.

The Italian American Society held its 92nd Summer Festa Picnic.

This was the first year back since 2019, and the Italian recipes brought out the long lines for the mostaccioli.

Some of the food and detailed woodwork were imported from authentic Italian shops.

They also held a spaghetti eating contest and had wines featured from all over Italy.

Rhonda Parker, the Board Secretary for the Italian-American Society says, this picnic first started in 1929 when many Italians migrated from overseas.

She told 25News, their professions showed just how hardworking their ancestors were, ”some were coal miners, a lot of Italians were tradesmen so a lot of art like marble, things like that, carpentry, all those things, this was one of the places that they settled.”

This event is also a fundraiser for the Italian society’s four scholarships they give away.

Two go towards a student at Illinois Central College, one to a spouse or a member of the armed forces and they are creating a 4th scholarship for those who are going into the trades.