As festivals go, Little Italy’s Feast of the Assumption is truly a religious experience. That’s because for 120 years, the festival has brought together faith, family and food for one heck of a celebration. Here are four things you need to know about the Aug. 15-18 feast.
To celebrate the Virgin Mary being taken into heaven after her death, Bishop Nelson Perez presides over a 10 a.m. Mass at Holy Rosary Church Aug. 15. It is followed immediately by a procession with a statue of the Blessed Mother through the streets of Little Italy. A raffle for a $5,000 grand prize is held outside a religious goods tent Saturday evening at 11:30 p.m.
The closing procession steps off at 9:30 p.m. Aug. 18 followed by a 15-minute fireworks display over Tony Brush Park at 10 p.m.
Purchase a $20 all-access bracelet for unlimited carnival rides Wednesday and Saturday. But if one trip around the Ferris wheel is enough to get a view of the neighborhood, you can purchase individual tickets throughout the festival.
While there are more than a dozen authentic Italian restaurants in Little Italy, Guarino’s Restaurant, which opened in 1918, is the oldest by far. Treat yourself to the brasciole ($19), a rolled steak stuffed with prosciutto, onions, provolone, egg and garlic, while sitting on the private garden patio Aug. 17 and 18.