CUYAHOGA FALLS -- The ninth annual Festa Italiana will take place July 21-23 at Falls River Square.

Festa Italiana will feature authentic Italian cuisine, wine and Peroni Beer, bocce and morra games, live music and grape stomping. Entertainment will include Gianni Valerio from Italy, the Tuscan Trio, accordionist Mike Trecaso, the Italian Choral Group, Hard Day's Night and a Journey tribute band.

The event will happen July 21 from 5-11 p.m., July 22 from noon-11 p.m. and July 23 from noon-9 p.m.

Activities will include a Catholic Mass on Sunday and for the kids, an Art Sparks dance program and the breaking of the pignatta.

"I love Festa because it brings our culture to the community -- Italian food, music -- our heritage," said John Donatelli, president of Centro Italiano. Donatelli said when people come to Festa Italiana they can enjoy Italian sausage, pizza and music every night.

Donatelli was born in Abruzzi, Italy, and came to America when he was 18 and settled in the North Hill section of Akron with family who arrived before him. At 66, he lives in Cuyahoga Falls, his home since 1978.

Festa's main objective, he noted, is to raise money for charity and scholarships.

The week of Festa Italiana includes the Heritage Night Celebration, a recognition dinner "to applaud the dedication and love of Italian-American leaders making a difference in their community," according to a letter from Centro Italiano, the sponsor of Festa and Heritage Night.

This year's recipients of the Community Leader award are Frank Comunale and Alyssa Chiarappa.

Heritage Night will take place on July 19 at the Italian Center Banquet Hall, located at 134 E. Tallmadge Ave. in Akron. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and appetizers; dinner at 7 p.m.; recognition at 8 p.m.; and at 8:30 p.m., a special performance by Valerio.

Catered by Guido's of Ravenna, the menu will include, for appetizers, assorted pizza, meats and cheese, veggies, fruit, olives; main entree: chicken Francaise, stuffed meatroll, sausage and peppers, baked cavatelli, oven roasted potatoes, green beans, tossed salad, bread and coffee; dessert: butter cream iced marble cake with cream filling compliments of Le Radici.

Tickets are $20 per person in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. To purchase a ticket, call Chris Donatelli at 330-929-1550 or email: Make checks payable to Festa Italiana.


Phone: 330-541-9420

Twitter: @SteveWiandt_RPC