Feast of the Assumption in Cleveland's Little Italy August 2008
Cleveland is blessed with a number of colorful, entertaining and just-plain-fun summer festivals. Various ethnic groups celebrate their traditions and pride by gathering together and inviting all of us to join in.
It would be hard to find a more popular festival than the annual Feast in Little Italy. The Feast is a four-day event centered around the Feast of the Assumption.
The Assumption is a holy day for Catholics and celebrates the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. A procession of the statue of the Blessed Virgin is followed by Mass at Holy Rosary Church on the August 15th feast day.
But the Feast also includes great music, great camaraderie and, of course, great food. Mayfield Road is closed to traffic and people fill the streets and enjoy the food and music of the numerous shops and restaurants on Mayfield and Murray Hill in historic Little Italy.
Holy Rosary Church during the Feast of the Assumption
Behind Holy Rosary church you will find carnival games, casino games, rides, music and more great food. There is also a temporary shrine where people can light a candle and place petitions to the Virgin Mary.
Carmelina Vitullo at the Shrine to Mary
One of the highlights of the Feast takes place on perhaps the main intersection in Little Italy - Mayfield and Murray Hill. Throughout the Feast, a fantastic band of musicians set up in this intersection and play to the delight of the crowd.
Primavera singers Donna Gron, Rocky Scaperato and Mary Ann Caponi
The band is called Primavera and consists of accordionist Mike Zaccaro and Tony Ettorre on mandolin and tambourine. Rocky Scaperato is the male vocalist and Mary Ann Caponi and Donna Gron are the female singers.
Primavera's Mike Zaccaro on accordion
Primavera's Tony Ettorre on tambourine
In their last performance of the weekend they are joined by a large chorale group, all dressed in colorful authentic costumes.
Watch Tony Ettorre and Mike Zaccaro play the Theme from the Godfather - Speak Softly Love
Besides the obvious talent of the musicians and the catchy tunes they play, Primavera is a fan favorite because it is obvious that they are having fun as they play.
A very young fan!
Dancing to the music
Did we mention food?
Octopus salad and more
Holy Rosary Fried Dough
Watch Primavera play 'I Have but One Heart' - the song sung by Johnny Fontane in the wedding scene of The Godfather.
Speaking of the Godfather - this t-shirt says 'Leave the gun, take the cannoli'
Rob Fischer, volunteering for Holy Rosary
Donna Gron of Primavera
More music behind Holy Rosary Church
Watch the crowd-pleasing Che le Luna by Primavera
Mike Zaccaro on accordion
Tony Ettorre on mandolin
On the steps of Holy Rosary Church
Holy Rosary at dusk
The Feast is one of those events that make Cleveland and Northeast Ohio so special.
Watch Mike Zaccaro and Tony Ettorre on this Italian classic
If you've never attended in person, it is well worth your time to visit. See you August 15, 2009!