Editor’s Note: We know a lot of people are coming here via search. Follow this link for the updated information for the 2017 event. 

Want a fun, free, family-friendly way to spend a weekend? Head to Freedom Hill County Park (14900 Metro Parkway in Sterling Heights) July 15-17 for Festa Italiana, presented by the Italian American Cultural Society.

Festa Italiana will give event-goers a taste of Italian music and heritage. Highlights of the event include a Beautiful Baby Contest, Cannoli Eating Contest, and the Frank J. Palazzolo Memorial Meatball Contest.

cannoli eating

This year, the event is adding the Italian American Ido Signing Contest to the lineup.

The food tent will be sponsored by Villa Bella of Clinton Township and Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons. Stages around the park will feature the sounds of both local and national musicians.

There will also be food booths where you can grab some delicious Italian food from Andiamo, Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace, Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, and more.

Emcee Dino Vale will present 2016 headlining performers Mark Randisi and Sicilian-American Tenor Aaron Caruso.

Festa Italiana runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 15, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 16, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 17. While admission to the event is free, parking is $10 daily.


The event schedule for Festa Italiana is as follows

Friday, July 15 (Music)

  • 6-6:30 p.m. Opening: Anthems; Parade of Clubs; Coro Italiana; Emcee Dino Valle
  • 6:45-7:30 p.m. Michigan Accordion Society Cory Pesaturo & Joe Recchia
  • 7:45-8:30 p.m. Ray Massa & The Euro Rhythms
  • 8:45-9:45 p.m. The Sicilian Tenors (Aaron Caruso – Sam Vitale – Elio Scaccio)
  • 10-11 p.m. Ray Massa & The Euro Rhythms

Saturday, July 16

  • Noon Opening: Anthems; Coro Italiana; Dino Valle; Maria Cicchini Italian Karaoke
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. Frank J. Palazzolo Memorial Meatball Contest
  • 2:30-4 p.m. Italian American Idol Contest Age Categories: Up to 8 years; 9-12 years; 13-17 years; 18 & over
  • 4-5 p.m. Simone Vitale, with Italian Singer Rosella Lo Duca
  • 5:15-6:15 p.m. Soft Italian Background Music (wedding held next door)
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Ray Massa & The Euro Rhythms
  • 8-9 p.m. Mark Randisi
  • 9:15-11 p.m. Ray Massa & The Euro Rhythms

Sunday, July 17

  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be hosted at the park with Fr. Enzo Addari from St. Louis Center
  • 12:45 p.m. Opening; Anthems; Coro Italiana; Dino Valle; Aaron Caruso; Maria Cicchini/Italian Karaoke
  • 1:30 p.m. The Beautiful Baby Contest
  • 2:50 p.m. Cannoli Eating Contest
  • 3-4 p.m. Dino Valle Bellini Opera – From Torino, Sherrie Grieve; From Ontario, Amy Wallace, Lisa Agazzi, Eva Evola, Gina D’Alessio, Piano
  • 4:15-5:15 p.m. The Sicilian Tenors (Aaron Caruso-Sam Vitale-Elio Scaccio)
  • 5:30-6 p.m. Ray Massa & The Euro Rhythms
  • 6-7 p.m. Pino Marelli
  • 7:15-8 p.m. From Firenze, Mirella Maria Cavallini San Remo Festival Pre-Finalist with Souvenir of Italy
  • 8-10 p.m. Ray Massa & The Euro Rhythms
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