Fest carries on traditions | News, Sports, Jobs


The Brier Hill Italian Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend.

“Thirty years of strong racing,” said Dominic Modarelli, whose father Dee Dee started the event. “It was supposed to happen only once. Now look at us, 30 years later.

2022 should have been the 31st year, but the event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its success last year when many events remained on the sidelines is proof of what people think of the Italian neighborhood festival.

“They really didn’t care too much (about COVID-19),” said Modarelli. “People wanted the festival to come back.”

Except to honor Dave Laurie, who has been involved with the event since it started, there are no special plans for the weekend, but it is in keeping with the philosophy of trying to keep traditions alive. passed down for generations instead of adding new and bigger attractions.

If his father were still alive, says Modarelli, “He would be amazed at how he grew, from a few thousand to the 20,000 we’ll have this weekend. And he’d be happy he was still around. He wanted to give back to the neighborhood and the city itself.

Although the event attracts many locals, it has also become a reason for those who have moved to come home.

“We welcome people from all over the country – New York, New Jersey, California, Colorado. There’s a family coming from Seattle this year. It starts in January. The phone starts ringing non-stop in January (to find out the dates) so that they can take their holidays.

The festival on Victoria and Calvin streets will be open from 4 p.m. to midnight today and Friday, 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday. They’ve reduced the hours slightly this year because it’s getting harder and harder to get enough volunteers.

“All the elders are gone” said Modarelli.

Entertainment is scheduled every four days with the Rex Taneri Band headlining today and Saturday and Dom Tocco and Brotherhood closing the festival on Friday and Sunday.

“People like to come back to the Old Quarter, see friends and family, people you haven’t seen in years,” said Modarelli. “They want to see if the house is still there, walk down the brick streets, taste a little pizza and wine and the aroma of spaghetti sauce and hot sausage cooking in the air.”

Brier Hill Italian Festival

WHEN: 4 p.m. to midnight today and Friday, 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday and 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday

WHERE: Calvin and Victoria streets, Youngstown

HOW MUCH: Admission is free

Today

5 p.m. — Mikey D

7:00 p.m. — Bill Bevec Band

9 p.m. – Rex Taneri Band

Friday

5:30 p.m. – Jim Frank Combo

7 p.m. — Opening ceremony

7:30 p.m. — Mikey D

7:30 p.m. — Morra on deck

9 p.m. — Dom Tocco and the Brotherhood

Saturday

3:00 p.m. – Mikey D Band

5:00 p.m. – Jim Frank Combo

5:30 p.m. — Entries for the Hot Peppers contest are accepted and the winner is announced between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

7:00 p.m. – Del Sinchak Group

9 p.m. – Rex Taneri Band

Sunday

1:00 p.m. — Lowellville Marching Band

3:00 p.m. – Jim Frank Combo

3:00 p.m. — Wine tasting contest entry accepted with contest at 4:00 p.m. and winners announced at 5:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m. – Rex Taneri Band

7:00 p.m. – Del Sinchak Group

9 p.m. — Dom Tocco and the Brotherhood



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