Little Italy FESTA! & Sicilian Festival Join Forces To Create Largest Italian Cultural Festival On West Coast

September 21, 2015

The Little Italy Association has announced that the annual Sicilian Festival has merged with FESTA! for one massive cultural festival as the brand new Little Italy FESTA! - taking place on Sunday, Oct. 11. The bigger-than-ever 21st annual FESTA! celebration will take over the streets of Little Italy from 10am until 6pm, filled with authentic live Italian entertainment, Italian food, a stickball tournament, bocce ball tournament, a colorful flag procession and of course the festival’s favorite - Gesso Italiano (Italian chalk) to celebrate one of the most iconic neighborhoods not only in San Diego, but in the country.

“Although the Sicilian Festival will no longer grace the streets of Little Italy each May, we are excited to join forces with the Little Italy Association and create an even bigger and better FESTA! celebration for everyone to enjoy,” said Bernadette Tarantino, Executive Director of the Sicilian Festival. “For 21 years, a small group of volunteers put a lot of heart and soul into planning and organizing the Sicilian Festival as a way to salute to our heritage and preserve our culture in the community. Now we will be able to work closely with the Little Italy Association to acknowledge our culture even more by uniting the two festivals together - bringing even more visitors to our Little Italy neighborhood.”

Since 1994, FESTA! has marked the annual celebration of Little Italy’s culture and heritage as an official neighborhood in the urban metropolis. Now, 21 years later, Little Italy opens their streets to San Diego residents and over 120,000 visitors to celebrate the country’s largest Italian homecoming.

“This year’s FESTA! will undoubtedly be one for the books. I have been a part of this neighborhood since the beginning and have watched it grow and become the nation’s top Little Italy neighborhood. The transformation that has gone on throughout this community is all due to the dedicated members of the Little Italy Association, Little Italy residents and businesses owners that have put in the time and effort to showcase the heart and soul of this neighborhood,” explains Marco Li Mandri, Chief Executive Administrator of the Little Italy Association. “FESTA! marks another year of success each time it comes around and gives us the opportunity to display everything this beautiful community has to offer for the tens of thousands of attendees that come down to our neighborhood and enjoy the Italian love and spirit that fills the 48-square-blocks.”

For more information on FESTA!, visit or