Illinois May 01, 2019
Illinois’ Largest Italian Festival Is An Experience Like No Other
The oldest and largest Italian festival in the state is a celebration of everything that makes you want to go to Italy. Forget the expensive (and cramped) plane ride, and instead, make plans to attend this two-day event in Collinsville, Illinois.
If you’re craving cannoli and wine, this festival will practically have you in Tuscany. Check it out:
Taking place September 20-21, 2019, Italian Fest is southern Illinois' top event that locals look forward to all year long. Including a massive parade, competitions, street vendors, and live entertainment, this is the fair that makes the end of summer worth it.
This annual event has been going on in uptown Collinsville, Illinois since 1983 and is the oldest and largest Italian festival in the state. It celebrates the exact culture from which this infamous town derives its heritage.
Each year, this family friendly event hosts a slew of activities that pulls people out of the woodwork. Most popular are the parade, 5K run, and grape stomp. At the grape stomp, guests enjoy the authentic experience of extracting the juice from grapes (in order to make wine) with their feet.
This practice dates back to ancient Rome and is found in the histories of every culture that makes wine. It has been abandoned, though, due to sanitary concerns.
Other events include the Bocce Ball Tournament, pageants, and an Italian film exhibit. Bocce Ball is inspired by an ancient Roman Empire game than is similar to a cross between croquet and shuffle board where players use balls to knock other players' balls out of a target.
Other authentic Italian experiences you'll enjoy at Illinois' largest Italian festival include food and cultural activities. You'll definitely find cannoli, biscotti, mozzarella, authentic breads, pizza, pastas, and so much more.
Additionally, there will be lots of other food vendors on hand. Food trucks, BBQ pits, bake sales, drink makers, and much more will be available to keep you fueled up throughout this two-day event.
Additional fun activities for all ages include face painting, rock wall climbing, bungee jumping, races and rides, and much more. There's a little something for everyone at this fest.
The state's largest Italian festival always features live music. There will be three stages set up throughout the event. In addition to the pageant, there will be a stage at the wine garden as well as one at the Children's Area.
This giant event attracts 150,000 people over the course of two days. Proceeds from the fest go toward various local civic and social organizations in and around town.
To get more information about Italian Fest 2019, check out its
website or Facebook page.
For more authentic experiences like this, check out these
10 Italian restaurants in Illinois that will make your mouth water nonstop.
If you’ve ever been to the largest Italian festival in the state, we’d love to hear from you. Please share your experiences and photos with us below in the comments.