By Maralisa Marra
Over the last couple years, due to the pandemic, festival lovers have longed for the beloved Italian Heritage Festival to return to its roots, and this year, the festival is back as we know it.
Downtown Clarksburg on Main Street, the 43rd Italian Heritage Festival will return with all its customary traditions beginning with the coronation of Regina Maria XLIII Friday at noon.
Chair of the Italian Festival Board Tyler Terango said, “What I said to the board was, ‘More than anything, let’s focus on getting the main festival with the tradition, values, and culture that everyone loves back on the street.’”
The weekend is packed with events and musical headliners. A tribute band to the Bee Gees, Stayin’ Alive will take the main stage at 8:15 p.m. Friday night; Bon Jovi tribute band Wanted DOA will bring an exciting new twist to the main stage on Saturday at 8 p.m.; and John Lloyd Young, who starred on Broadway and in the motion picture “Jersey Boys” as Frankie Valli, will round out the weekend on the main stage on Sunday at 3:15 p.m.
The accustomed appearances of Amici and Michela Musolino and Rose Tatuata will appear various times on the main stage throughout the weekend, as well.
This year, Terango said they focused on recreating and bringing back the events of the festival that people have grown to know and love. But Terango also said there will be a lot of new vendors as well, alongside their traditional vendors.
“I’m excited because I think everyone will be happy with the big return of the normal festival that they all love,” he said. “Then it’ll give us a chance to add all of the other things that maybe they have missed in previous years as we move on in the future.”
Stunt shows performed by the Cincinnati Circus are one of the new events this year, according to Terango.
“It’s going to be something fun and free for families,” he added. “It will be something that’s more entertaining to children and the younger generation.”
After a two-year Italian Festival drought on Main Street, this Labor Day weekend in Clarksburg will feature good music, delicious Italian food, and Italian traditions and culture. Festival-goers can also grab fritti and cannoli from The Bluebird, as well as an updated Italian Festival t-shirt.