Italian Fest celebrates 116th annual heritage picnic

ISHPEMING — The meatballs, pasta, and pizzelles are just about ready for this year’s Italian Fest at Al-Quaal in Ishpeming.

The 116th Italian Fest begins at noon tomorrow, and members from the St. Rocco – St. Anthony Society of Ishpeming are expecting this year to be bigger and better than ever. The event is open to the public, and welcomes everyone of all ages and nationalities to come celebrate the Italian heritage with food, music, games and family.

“You do not have to be Italian to be here. We welcome everybody and like to see it be a community event. It’s just a nice picnic for everybody to come and enjoy. If you have young kids or high school age kids there’s all kinds of things for them to do here. The big slide and the obstacle course, it’s all free. Horse and pony rides are free.”

An estimated three to five thousand people come throughout the day for lots of good Italian food, music, and culture. There is no admission charge for the event, but you could win one hundred dollars for climbing the greased pole.