LA FESTA ITALIAN STREET FESTIVAL ON EAST PASSYUNK RETURNS BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER WITH FULL DAY OF SPAGHETTI EATING CONTEST, LIVE MUSIC, DANCING, ADULT WATER ICE, RIDES, FAMILY FUN AND VENDORS
Philadelphia, PA – Filitalia International and Foundation, with support from East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District, presents La Festa Italian Street Festival on Sunday, June 2, 2019, from 11:00am to 7:00pm. Head to East Passyunk (between Broad and Moore) for this all-day, all-ages street festival that features the much-anticipated South Philly spaghetti eating contest, live music, dancing, food, beer, wine, contests, prizes, vendors, shopping, wine-making demos, vodka water ice, and culinary displays. For family fun, look for children’s games, moon bounce, trampoline, orbitron, duck pond, trackless train rides, water gun fun, soccer games, face painting, yoga and much more. This year, look for the festival to nearly double in size with an expanded footprint, two stages, even more vendors – and more of the city’s best eats! At the heart of the festival, don’t forget to visit the family-friendly History of Italian Immigration Museum at 1834 East Passyunk. Admission. La Festa is free. The event is rain or shine. As a bonus, double your fun with East Passyunk Craft Beer Day, as part of Philly Beer Week, on the same date and at the same time over 15+ East Passyunk bars and restaurants. For more about La Festa and Craft Beer Day, visit www.visiteastpassyunk.com/events.php. For more about the Museum, visit http://www.filitaliainternational.com/museum-main. All proceeds from La Festa benefit family programs of Filitalia International and The History of Italian Immigration Museum.
“La Festa on East Passyunk Avenue is back bigger and better than ever,” La Festa Director Saverio Nestico. “Make it a day in South Philly as we present even more music, more food, more shopping and more family fun. Look for a second stage, expanded activities and tons of our famous East Passyunk cuisine. Plus, don’t miss the signature events that you can only partake in at La Festa, like our South Philly spaghetti eating contest, wine-making demonstrations, adult water ice and Italian dance celebration. There’s something for everyone at La Festa – come celebrate with us on East Passyunk!”
La Festa, nicknamed after La Festa Della Repubblica and Italian National Day, is an Italian national holiday that celebrates when Italy became a republic in 1946. Many of the Museum’s Board of Directors, volunteers and members of the community immigrated here from Italy – or are first and second generation Italians. Each year, the local board and volunteers come together with the East Passyunk community to throw a celebration to mirror the festivals in Italy. La Festa is organized by Festival Director Saverio Nestico, along with an annual committee of volunteers that includes Nick Volpe, Kelly Alexander, Henry Amanto, Miguel Luzon, David Milano, Ray DeJohn and Joseph Rossetti.
Since its inception in 2010, this fun-filled party welcomes thousands of attendees who love and look forward to celebrating Italian culture and heritage in South Philadelphia- a traditionally Italian-American neighborhood. East Passyunk will be lined with vendors presenting an assortment of food, crafts, specialty items, wine, and beer. There will be two stages with sensational entertainment, wine-making demos, vodka water ice, culinary displays, children’s games and so much more. From children and teens to mature adults and everyone in between, there will be something for everyone. The line-up for this year’s festivities is found below.
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC AND DANCING
Come ready to dance in the streets like East Passyunk knows how to do! Look for music and entertainment at three locations, including the Main Stage at the intersection of 13th Street and East Passyunk Avenue, outside of Pistola’s Del Sur at 1934 East Passyunk, and outside of Stogie Joe’s at 1801 East Passyunk.
Entertainment officially kicks off on the main stage at Noon with a performance of the USA National Anthem and the Italian National Anthem performed by students of Scuola Marco Polo School. The full line-up including the opening ceremony is as follows:
- 12:00pm (Main Stage) – USA National Anthem and Italian National Anthem
- 12:15pm (Main Stage) – DJ Chuck Colletti
- 12:15pm (Pistola’s Del Sur) – Brunch Bunch Band with Pistola’s Owner Casey Parker
- 12:15pm (Stogie Joe’s) – DJ Epi
- 1:00pm (Outside Jose Pistola’s) – Tom Pizzi Duo Band
- 1:00pm (Up/down the festival footprint) – Caterina Dawson Italian Vivaci dancers
- 2:00pm (Up/down the festival footprint) – Live musicians and accordion players
- 2:00pm (Main Stage) – The Reign Band (formerly known as Purple Reign)
- 3:00pm (Main Stage) – Spaghetti Eating Contest
SPAGHETTI EATING CONTEST
The biggest draw will be the annual Spaghetti eating contest. The eating contest will be a no-holds-bar spectacle to see who can eat the most spaghetti. Thousands will line-up for a view to find out who is the champion. Spaghetti and sauce is provided by sponsor, Pastifico’s Homemade Pasta Company.
The contest kicks off at 3:00pm. For those interested in competing, visit the main bar which is located at the intersection of 13th Street and East Passyunk Avenue.
FOOD AND DRINK
Come hungry for East Passyunk’s famous culinary scene. Look for open-air dining and adult drinks under the blue skies from over TWO DOZEN vendors – including a mix of East Passyunk restaurants, Philadelphia’s top food trucks, and top brewing companies for Philly Beer Week.
Food and drink line-up to date:
- Chewy’s Philly – Southern cuisine, smoked meats, fried chicken, fried veggies
- Chhaya Cafe – Mascarpone-strawberry cannoli cone
- Chilly Banana – Banana Whips topped with fresh fruit, homemade sauces, crunchy things and coconut milk whipped cream
- Esposito’s Porchetta – Roast porchetta sandwiches
- Famous Sgt Bob BBQ and Grill – BBQ style pork kabob, chicken kobob, pulled pork sandwich, grilled chicken, grilled pork with rice
- Fuel – Look for CBD smoothies and features inside
- Grilly Cheese -Grilled cheese sandwiches, fries and tomato soup, beverages
- Isabella Pizza – Pizza and Italian specialties inside restaurant
- Isgros Bakery – Cannoli, sfoglitella, pizzelle and more
- Kona Water Ice – Gourmet shaved ice
- Le Virtu – Look for award-winning, nationally recognized cuisine plus enjoy the outdoor courtyard and garden
- Locust Lane Craft Brewery – Selection of craft beers
- Los Gallos – Mexican food, pina coladas pineapples, fruit juices
- Mamma Maria Ristorante – Gnocchi, sausage, chicken cutlet, broccoli rabe, peppers
- New Liberty Distillery – Cocktails
- Noir Philadelphia – Arancini, meatballs, fried chicken sandwich with long hots, Peroni beer
- Nomad Pizza – Wood fired and organic margherita and pepperoni pizza
- Original 13 Ciderworks – Selection of draft ciders including Sir Charles Hard Cider
- Philly Fry – Loaded french fries
- Pistola’s Del Sur – Three authentic Italian beers on tap Birrificio Italiano Tipopils, Birrificio Del Ducato Tropical Chrysoplis, Birrificio Loverbier Beer Bera. Plus for Craft Beer Day look for * Founders All Day IPA and Founders Solid Gold Lager. From the kitchen, Mole’ Meatball Steamed Buns
- P’unk Burger – Variety of burger and cheeseburger sliders, Caprese sliders, Little Love Sliders with Provolone and Long Hots, plus special milkshakes inside
- Stogie Joe’s Tavern – Beer, cocktails, food served outside on street including famous upside down pizza pie and meatball sandwiches
- Teas N’ Mi – Look for specialty drinks, specials and bahn mi sandwiches
- More to be announced
Plus don’t miss:
- Adult water ice
- Wine-making demonstrations
- Homemade white and red sangria, pineapple vodka, red and white wine, more!
SHOPPING, VENDORS AND MORE
East Passyunk’s boutiques and shops will be joined on the street by other top vendors from around the region, including:
- Bee Hive Bling – Paparazzi jewelry
- Bright Ideas to Go – Bilingual Italian/English books, embroidered aprons and pillows
- Comcast – Comcast services
- Deja 42 – Art studio with art and gifts
- Eastern Pass Tattoo Co. – Free temporary Italian themed tattoos
- Getaround – Car Sharing app promos and giveaway swag
- Just Soaps Philly – Homemade soaps
- Indego – Passes, give away swag and information
- The Inky Guy – Air Brush Live Demo
- It’s Not Sauce It’s Gravy – Italian Promotional items, tees, bibs, aprons, hats, V necks
- It’s Personally Yours – Customized items to match your lifestyle – shirts, glasses, vases, signs and more hoodies and sweats
- Kicks and Fashion – Sneakers and fashion
- ML’s Kitchen – Food and culinary demos
- Mantra Lounge – YOGA – Yoga information and demo
- Mary Quinn Photography Inc – Award winning images featured in magazines, newpapers, and websites
- Movement Source Pilates Studio – Pilates evaluations/posture analysis – demos on using pilates exercise props
- Nicole Rae Styer Boutique – One of a kind designs & vintage designs – fun,girly and unique clothing, accessories embellished with vintage textile alterations
- Occasionette – Cards and gift items
- Simply Hecgardo – Wax warmers, wax melts, mason jar candles, soy candles, aromatherapy accessories and more
- South Fellini – Local made and designed shirts, pins, hats and more
- Tildie’s Toy Box – Gender neutral toys from Best of Philly toy shop
- Touchstone Crystal By Swarovski – Swarovski gifts
- More to be announced
Bring the entire family and look for fun and games for all ages. Activities this year include:
- Children’s carnival-style games and prizes
- Moon bounce
- Duck pond
- Trackless train rides
- Water gun fun
- Soccer games
- Face painting
- Street art demos
- Yoga demos
- Family-friendly vendors
La Festa is presented by Filitalia International & Foundation, with support from East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District. La Festa takes place along East Passyunk from Broad Street to Moore street. La Festa is free to attend, with food and drink pay-as-you-go. The event is rain or shine.
Parking for the La Festa is located at Parkway at Constitution Health Plaza at 1485 McKean (between Broad and 15th street). La Festa is also accessible by public transportation and SEPTA’s Broad Street Subway Line.
HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION MUSEUM
At the heart of the festival, look for The History of Italian Immigration Museum at 1834 East Passyunk. Festival goers of all ages are invited to visit and experience this one-of-a-kind museum that celebrates Italian roots, American dreams, and immigration stories. The Museum made its official debut in 2014 during La Festa. Since then, thousands have come through its doors to experience tours starting with the story of Cristoforo Columbus and many other explorers, than through many decades and onto the stories of the millions of Italians immigrants who came to this country. Lastly, we roll into the Twentieth Century, where we focus on the War World II effort of the individuals who served in the forces. Hours during La Festa are 11:00am to 7:00pm. Admission is a five dollar donation to support Museum operations.
“La Festa creates tremendous exposure for not only the museum but for the entire organization and for all the East Passyunk Avenue businesses,” added Nestico. “Our neighborhood of East Passyunk Avenue is awesome, it’s thriving and it’s where everyone wants to eat, shop and hang out. East Passyunk Avenue has been the home of Filitalia International for 17 years before the explosion of excitement took over for the Avenue. We knew it’s potential and we are proud to call the Avenue our home.”
Proceeds from La Festa support the operation of the museum, the organization’s scholarship programs, language and culture program, and Christmas Seals Program. Since 2006, the Christmas Seals Program during the holiday season have helped provide groceries, toys, bikes and clothing for hundreds of families in the Philadelphia region.
“La Festa is about our history, our culture but also our philanthropy,” said Filitalia International Vice President Henry Amanto. “Our mission is clear and we define our success by the amount of families we feed during Christmas, by the children that receive our scholarships, by the number of visitors to the museum and by the growing appreciation of the language and culture we create.”
DOUBLE THE FUN WITH CRAFT BEER DAY
East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District (EPABID) serves up a double dose of summertime fun with two festivals on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Starting at 11:00am, Philly Beer Week kicks off on East Passyunk with 13 hours of craft beer events during Craft Beer Day. Over 15 East Passyunk restaurants, bars and retailers will present opportunities to meet the brewers, try new craft beers, and enjoy beer-infused and inspired foods. Starting at 11:00am, La Festa Italian Street Festival will feature a full day of live music, Italian draft and bottled beer specials, outdoor food vendors, kids’ activities and a spaghetti eating contest. La Festa activities are held on East Passyunk Avenue, between Broad and Moore streets. Events are held rain or shine. Admission is free, unless otherwise noted. Food and drinks are pay-as-you-go. For more information about Craft Beer Day and La Festa visit www.visiteastpassyunk.com, follow @epassyunkave or call (215) 336-1455.
For more about La Festa and Craft Beer Day event details, visit:
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For more about the Museum:
For any additional information, call (215) 334-8882 or visit Filitalia International on Facebook.
CREDIT: KORY AVERSA
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