Feast of the Assumption Italian Festival Will Return

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The second annual Prelude to the Feast of the Assumption festival will take place Saturday at Yosteria, 252 Valley Ave., in the city’s Smoky Hollow neighborhood. 

Admission is free.

The festival will start at 4 p.m., and its signature event, the procession of a statue of the Holy Mother, will take place at 6 p.m.

The procession will start at the intersection of North Walnut Street and Rayen Avenue, near Noble Creature brewery. Led by Monsignor Michael Cariglio of nearby Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica, the procession will head north along North Walnut and end at Yosteria restaurant and wine bar.

Deacons, flag bearers and a choir from the basilica will be part of the procession and will sing hymns.

Members of the Smoky Hollow Club, which presents the festival, will carry the statue, according to Billy James, who is one of the festival organizers and a co-founder of the club.

The Smoky Hollow Club was founded last year to preserve the history of the neighborhood, which once teemed with Italian immigrants and their families. It now has about 35 members.

At Yosteria, there will be food and drink vendors, including Croatian Home of Youngstown, Noble Creature beer and Bertolussi espresso bar. Attendees can also play the Italian games of bocce and morra, and the Jim Frank Trio will provide music.

New this year will be a free cookie table that will mirror the Valley tradition.

“All of our club members are each making and donating five dozen cookies,” James said.

The inaugural festival last year drew close to 200 people, and James said the club expects to top that number this year.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Catholic Holy Day that falls on Aug. 15.

Pictured at top: The procession along North Walnut Street in Smoky Hollow has become a signature part of the annual festival at Yosteria.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.