Chicago is well known for its ethnic neighborhoods and each community has plenty to offer in the way of restaurants, shops, and history lessons. Summertime in Chicago means festival season, and many of those same ethnic neighborhoods play host to their very own summer festivals. The one I dutifully attend each year is Taylor Street Festa Italiana in Little Italy, my old neighborhood.
The festival started a few years ago with the tagline of “Come Back to Taylor Street”. The aim was to bring back the residents and families that once lived in the neighborhood but had moved away. The fest was a success and now it has become an annual event. I am one of those residents that moved away and I look forward to meeting up with old friends and distant family members at the fest every year.
The Little Italy neighborhood is anchored by the stretch of Taylor Street between Morgan Street and Ashland Avenue. Gentrification and the expansion of the University of Illinois-Chicago caused many long-time residents to move to other parts of the city, so the neighborhood isn’t quite as “Italian” as it used to be. Former residents like me fondly remember “the old neighborhood”, and we look forward to getting back there as often as we can. This year, we’ll be there for Festa Italiana from Thursday, August 5th, until Sunday, August 8th, to reconnect and celebrate our Italian heritage. Come join us and enjoy some of the best Italian food in the city, as well as live entertainment including authentic Italian folk dancers. Details for the fest are as follows:
Where: Taylor Street at Ashland Avenue, Chicago
When: Thursday, August 5, 5 pm – 11 pm; Friday, August 6, 11:30 am – 11 pm; Saturday, August 7, Noon – 11 pm; Sunday, August 8, Noon – 10 pm
How much: Suggested donation $3-$7 (not mandatory)