The Italian Fest is a terrific street fair that celebrates everything Italian.
Signature events like the Grape Stomp and Bocce Tournament are just part of two days designed to feature Italian Food and fun for the family. Join us for continuous entertainment on three stages, Wine Garden, Little Miss and Mister Italian Fest Pageant, and Children‘s Area.
The Parade is always a big draw Saturday at 4pm. Saturday morning features a 5-K Run-Walk, this year followed by a Kids Fun Run and Diaper Dash.
But the real calling card of the Italian Fest continues to be the authentic Italian fare including Fest favorites like spedini, Italian beef, spumoni, bagna cauda, canolli, and Italian Ices.
The festival now attracts more than 150,000 people during its two days and raises over $150,000 for various civic, social, church and school organizations in the Collinsville area.
The first Italian Fest was organized as a Columbus Day Promotion for downtown merchants in 1983. Social, church and civic organizations from the area set up booths on Main Street to serve a variety of authentic Italian foods. Early fests featured a bocce ball tournament, entertainment, grape stomp, wine making, pizza and spaghetti eating competitions.
In 1986, a citizen group replaced the downtown merchants as festival organizers and added such popular features as bed races and the city’s largest parade.
Since 1987, the Fest has come under the auspices of Collinsville Progress Inc., a civic organization and arm of the Chamber of Commerce. In 1988, the Fest was moved to mid September to take advantage of generally better weather conditions.
See http://italianfest.net/ for more