Ranked as a "Best Cultural Festival of Rochester" for 2017 by the readers of City Newspaper. The festival has regularly received proclamations and strong support each year from town, city, county, state and federal-level officials, and in 2016 it received "Special Congressional Recognition."
Year after the year, the festival is proud to bring top-notch headline entertainment to Rochester. Headliners have included national artists like Lou Gramm (the voice of legendary rock band Foreigner), the Scintas (Las Vegas' "first family of entertainment"), Sal Valentinetti (from the hit TV show "American's Got Talent") & many more.
The festival has raised thousands of dollars to benefit the needy served by local charities, such as Alternatives for Battered Women, House of Mercy, Open Door Mission, Catholic Charities, MDA and the Ronald McDonald House.
The festival is regularly attended by thousands of people each year, with exciting demographics, ranging from teenagers to 65+ individuals, and offering sponsors a very attractive marketing opportunity, and credible return on investment. The event draws both local area sponsors and international big-name corporations each year. Click on the crowd image above, to be brought to the Little Italy Association's Facebook page, to see many more images and videos of the festival. **2018 marks the festival's 5th Anniversary!
The festival presents a truly wide variety of food and family-oriented activities each year, for both children and adults, representing the rich diversity and inclusiveness of the Rochester area's 150 year-old Little Italy neighborhood. The event has included bounce houses, carnival rides and games for kids, bocce, wine-tastings, cooking demonstrations, and even a very fun spaghetti eating contest, and it offers attendees much more than an Italian festival -- making the Little Italy Fest one of Rochester's most popular multi-cultural "neighborhood celebrations".
The festival acts as a vital part of the exciting effort to commemorate and revitalize Rochester's 150 year-old Little Italy Historic District and the Lyell Avenue/Jay Street Corridor. By helping bring people and neighborhood activity to Downtown Rochester, and to this long-neglected neighborhood area, the festival plays an important part in the overall effort to change the "perception" of the area, and help make it safe, attractive and inviting again, and it serves as a catalyst in the effort to bring change and transform the area into a hip, welcoming and sustainable 21st Century urban neighborhood.