Greater Clevelanders don’t have to ask “Which feast?” They know “The Feast” means the Feast of the Assumption, an annual celebration in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood that dates to 1898.
The Feast is both a religious and secular event. Catholics observe a Holy Day on Aug. 15 in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary being taken into Heaven. That’s why the four-day celebration will begin Thursday with a Mass at 10 a.m. at Holy Rosary Church, followed by a solemn procession through Little Italy. In addition, the Rosary will be prayed at 6 each evening at the church’s Outdoor Shrine.
Celebrating Italian heritage also is part of The Feast, which means — good news — Italian food. Besides the restaurants that line Mayfield and Murray Hill roads, there will be outdoor stands selling pasta, pizza, tiramisu, pizzelles, cappuccino, beer, wine and more.
The Feast will include live music, carnival rides and a casino. Admission is free, but there is a charge for the rides and, of course, the food and drinks. Proceeds from the stands and rides benefit Holy Rosary Church.
A night procession and prayer service, followed by fireworks at Tony Brush Park on Mayfield, will conclude the celebration Sunday night.
On-street parking and spaces in some restaurants’ lots are available, but be aware that Mayfield Road will be closed to vehicular traffic during The Feast. RTA is an option to save the hassle and expense of parking. There is a Red Line rail station on Mayfield near East 119th Street.
Just as you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you don’t need to be Italian or Catholic to enjoy The Feast.