Bloomfields Little Italy Days return with meals, bowls and security

Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield is once again being filled with Italian food, music and of course, bocce ball.

The 19th annual Little Italy Days are returning after being canceled due to the pandemic last year. Known as the largest cultural heritage festival in the region, it will take place from August 19th to 22nd this year.

“We’re very excited to be back,” said Sal Richetti, the Bloomfield event’s producer, on Thursday. “There will be meatballs and noodles and cannoli and hot sausage and more. During Little Italy Days all are Italians. “

Richetti said he received calls from companies to see if the event took place. Last year it was initially postponed to October 2020. Richetti then decided to cancel the October appointment as the Covid-19 cases continued to rise.

He said they will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines. The festival’s footprint spans Liberty Avenue from Taylor Street to Gross Street. In the past few years between 40,000-80,000 people have participated. Masks are recommended for people who have not been vaccinated.

Some vendors are struggling with staffing issues, like many companies, Richetti said. But there will definitely be many providers on site.

During the four days there will be more than 30 acts on three stages. The “Little Miss Italy” competition will take place on August 22nd at 12 noon. It is aimed at participants between the ages of 4 and 17.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Grandstand review

Bloomfield’s Little Italy Days producer Sal Richetti (right) poses with former KDKA TV newscaster Paul Martino on August 12 to discuss the event, which runs along Liberty August 19-22 Avenue is planned.

Paul Martino, a Bloomfield resident and former KDKA-TV news anchor, will host the event, which begins with a celebrity bocce tournament.

“Little Italy Days are coming back with good Italian food and great music and bocce,” said Martino, holding a trophy. “This trophy here will be up for grabs. The Italians against the Irish. The Italians won last year. Who will get the trophy this year? “


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Grandstand review

Bloomfield’s Little Italy Days producer Sal Richetti holds the trophy for the annual Celebrity Bocce Tournament at a press event on Aug. 12. The annual event is scheduled for August 19-22 along Liberty Avenue.

On August 19, starting at 6:00 p.m., Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who is Italian, will form a team that will play against Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s Irish team in bocce.

The event is free of charge. There’s a $ 19.95 VIP experience that includes a t-shirt, bottle of water, a slice of Caliente Pizza, and a seat in a tent near the main stage.

“I grew up in Bloomfield,” said Richetti. “This is an opportunity to celebrate our heritage. Last year Covid canceled pretty much everything. We’d love to be back. It should be a great time. “

The opening times are from August 19th from 6pm to 9pm, from August 20th to 21st from 12pm to 10pm and from August 22nd from 12pm to 6pm.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062,, or on Twitter.

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