maggio 2018
Moonstruck on screen

Little Italy
Open Air Film Fest
on hiatus for 2018
As recently shared with the public and media, the Little Italy Open Air Film Fest is on hiatus for 2018. However, there is hope the event will continue in 2019. Every effort was made to continue this summer tradition after Film Fest organizers announced they were discontinuing management of the 8-week event for 2018, after having organized it for 19 years.
Although from 1999 through 2017, the movies were held on the private parking lot of Da Mimmo Restaurant , owner Mary Ann Cricchio (the primary organizer), explained she would be unable to oversee its physical presence in 2018 since she is not in Little Italy while the Film Fest normally runs (she personally escorts group tours in Italy).

Mike Castino , vice president of the Little Italy Lodge, stepped in to embrace the challenges of the Film Fest, and had looked into an alternate location in the neighborhood.
Stratford University's parking lot on the east end of Little Italy seemed to be the answer for a new locale, and although the culinary school was amenable to the idea, Castino hit too many snags to properly plan the event for 2018: insurance, planning time, and raising revenue needed to fund such an expensive and huge undertaking. By May, those challenges prevented Castino from planning the Film Fest to its usual standards for this summer.
“We appreciate the support of the Little Italy community,” Castino said. “Despite the short window we had this year, we hope to see the movies return for 2019 – bigger and better.”
On facebook and via email to Promotion Center for Little Italy, the public has expressed its disappointment in learning the Film Fest will not take place this summer. 

“I would like to thank each of the many volunteers and supporters I have had the pleasure to work alongside these past 19 years,” said Cricchio, “for making the Film Festival possible. I welcome the opportunity to assist the new organizer, and to serve on the festival committee, to assure this tradition lives on in Little Italy.” 
Much appreciation is extended to the following groups and individuals for their part in the Open Air Film Fest 1999-2017:

  • The thousands of festival attendees
  • Countless supporters and donors
  • Original Little Italy Restaurant Association: Chiapparelli’s, Sabatino’s, Vaccaro’s and Da Mimmo, especially to Mary Ann Cricchio for organizing the event
  • Da Mimmo for use of its parking lot
  • Tony Gambino, owner of Ciao Bella Restaurant, for the use of his restaurant's outside wall on which the movies were projected
  • The Pente, Lancelotta and Caruso families: owners of the centennial house in which the projector was located
  • Colombo Bank (Little Italy branch) who donated free popcorn during each movie night, and who originally donated 200 folding chairs
  • Craig Ross, long-time supporter of Little Italy events who volunteered for the Film Fest for all of its 19 years
  • Mike Castino, who took on the responsibility to carry Little Italy’s Open Air Film Fest into the future.
Although on hiatus for this summer, we feel confident the Film Fest will return in 2019!
Little Italy in the media ...
everything you need to know
about the Italian Festival ...
NEW for 2018!
Italian Festival

  • Alpha Omega Imports: Eliovi extra virgin olive oil produced in Crete, Greece; jarred organic red peppers from Florina, Greece
  • Ameri-dry Home Services: handout literature for display window, roofing, and waterproofing
  • Artist Larry Stevens: an array of inspirational, happy and colorful art
  • Artist Michael Nagrabski: drawings of local churches, schools, stadiums and historical sites
  • Artist Sergio Brotto: a variety of oil paintings
  • Author Diane Walker: author of Italian American children's books
  • Author Dick Ellwood: author of 3 cop-related books and a children's book
  • B&S Italian Sportswear: Italian sportswear and novelties
  • Bob Bell Automotive: Baltimore Nissan dealer serving Maryland; cars will be on display
  • Caffe Gelato: handcrafted pasta, gelato
  • Chilly Willy: Italian ice & gelato
  • Conrad’s Seafood: fried calamari, arancini, codfish cakes, mozzarella sticks, fried zucchini, softshell crabs, oysters
  • Gina’s Wish: handmade soy wax candles from repurposed bottles; olive oil soap
  • Gourmet Apples by Lisa: handmade caramel and assorted covered apples
  • Italy in Color: photographs of Italy from regions of Trentino, Mezzogiorno, Sicily
  • Italiana Travel Design: Dream of your perfect trip to Italy; they custom design it!
  • The Nut Roasters: deliciously roasted and flavored nuts using a centuries-old Bavarian recipe; also, delicately handspun sugar bursting with natural flavor
  • Oceans Away: Handmade tapestries, rings, incense, candles, boxes, hats, gloves, shirts, dresses; Gothic and fantasy statues
  • Pandola Learning Center: gently used books
  • Pap’s Peppers: unique jarred peppers using a recipe passed down from Italy through the generations
  • Pasta Pallette: 100 varieties of dry gourmet pasta, sauces, pesto, gifts, accessories; gluten-free, vegan and lo-carb / hi-protein options
  • Route One Apparel: Maryland-themed clothing and accessories, made by us
  • Thomas C. Scilipoti Photography: picture-perfect scenes of Baltimore
  • T-Mobile: large pink pop-up truck offers mobile service and mobile accessories, and home security
  • Vacation Village Resorts: resort vacation promotion

Saint Leo's will host its traditional food stands
plus several new ones!
  • calzone
  • fried dough
  • Italian sausage & peppers
  • pit beef
  • porchetta & broccoli rabe
  • meatballs
  • pizza
  • eggplant
  • chicken parmesan
  • garden salad
  • French fries
  • wings
  • cannoli & pizzelle
  • vino and domestic / Italian beer
  • homemade lemonade
  • *sit-down pasta dinner indoors!

for the pasta dinner!
What can you expect out of the experience?

  • choice of Saturday shifts: 11am-4 pm and/or 3:30-8 pm
  • choice of Sunday shifts: 10am-3pm and/or 2:30-7 pm
  • a variety of festival stands to work: games, food, drinks
  • to be fed and hydrated!
  • to meet new people!
  • to have FUN!
  • to heartfully serve St. Leo's parish as you volunteer your precious time
  • GRATITUDE from Saint Leo's festival committee & staff!
Can you help during FESTIVAL PREP WEEK?
Monday, May 28 through Friday, June 1
9 am

Saint Leo's Church is asking for extra help cooking and preparing food during Prep Week for the June 2-3 Italian Festival. If you're available to lend a hand on any of those dates, for whatever amount of time, please call the parish office at 410.675.7275. Any help during the week is very much appreciated!
Saturday June 2
12 – 4 pm:
Mixed Company

4 – 8 pm:
Monaldi Brothers

Sunday June 3
11 am – 3 pm:
Small Miracle

3 pm – 7 pm:
Park Avenue
scenes from Mother's Day Mass
Mother's Day photo courtesy Thomas C. Scilipoti

presented by
Italian American Bocce League

Fri., June 1 thru Sun., June 3
(during Italian Festival)

a portion of the $200 team entrance fee donated to Saint Leo's Church

1st PLACE PRIZE = $2,400

2nd PLACE PRIZE = $1,200

3rd PLACE PRIZE = $600

4th PLACE PRIZE = $300

  • Open Division
  • 16-team double elimination
  • Games begin 6:30 pm June 1
  • Courts open for practice Friday 10 am - 3pm
  • Games begin Friday 5:30 pm
  • Saturday start time 8 am
  • Sunday start time 9 am

For more info or to register a team, call Dino Basso 443.690.8685 or email Gianni Andracchio.
Pizzelle ready for la festa ... check!

Twenty volunteers (including some NEW faces!) gathered May 12 in the School Hall to make a large batch of pizzelle needed for one of Saint Leo's stands at the June 2-3 Italian Festival. Approximately 1,400 of the delicious Italian cookies were made. Grazie tanto to the volunteers who donated their talent & time!
Tour of Tuscany, Italy
Hosted by
Pandola Learning Center
September 30 - October 8, 2018

Tour Highlights:

  • Visit region of Tuscany with home base in Florence; hotel on famous main boulevard, Via de' Tornabuoni
  • Florence: boat tour on Arno; guided tours of The David, The Duomo, The Uffizi, The Pitti Palace, San Miniato and Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Daily excursions to quaint towns of Siena and San Gimignano
  • Visit to Antinori Vineyard with lunch and wine pairings
  • Private cooking class at Lorenzo di Medici
  • Daily breakfast at hotel and a multi-course gourmet meal with unlimited Tuscan wines
  • Plenty of time to shop: the guides know the best places for quality and price of jewelry, leather, shoes, garments
  • $3,950 per person - gratuities included. Airfare not included. Fly to Peretola Airport in Florence
  • Group limited to 20 with two guides giving personal attention
  • Contact Rosalinda Mannetta

Saturday, June 30
11 am to 2 pm

ages 8-16
Bocce Courts in Little Italy

Register by
or call Dino Basso
Flag Day Celebration &
Naturalization Ceremony

Thursday, June 14 -- noon
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House 844 E. Pratt St, Little Italy
blast from the past
Saint Leo's School Sewing Class, circa 1900, consisted of second-and third-grade girls who made sewing bags, bloomers, aprons and handkerchiefs. The teachers were Miss Cook, Miss Koppa and Miss Ring. (photo courtesy Thomas C. Scilipoti, as published in "Baltimore's Little Italy: Heritage and History of The Neighborhood" )
"I am doing genealogy research on my family. I am looking for my two great-aunts who attended Saint Leo's in the 1890-1900s. Their names were Ella Lahey and Jenny McCurrin . They might be in this photo. Hope someone can help me. Would greatly appreciate it. Thank You!"
~ Jim Willner ( email Jim here )
For this event, AIAC seeks:
  • golf foursomes
  • corporate sponsorships
  • advertisements in program booklet
  • selling $100 raffle tickets
  • a variety of other advertising opps
  • donated items to be included in live and silent auctions

Net proceeds resulting from this event will be utilized by AIAC to fund scholarships and donations to charitable organizations. In 2017, The Associated Italian American Charities donated over $400,000 in proceeds raised from various events.
from our email-box
"Great [April] issue!! Thanks so much."
~ Sue Corasaniti

"Well done newsletter ... visually very entertaining."
~ Eddie Applefeld

"My name is Zoë. I am a second grader at a local private school. My second grade project and presentation will be on Little Italy. My family has visited it many times since moving to Baltimore in September. Can you please send me a map of Little Italy so I can use it for my project? I would like to use it as a prop for my presentation. I even ordered small Italian flags for my entire class! Thank you very much! I want to do a great job on my project because I love Little Italy!"
~ Sincerely, Zoë

[pictured] "Zoë made friends today! Fuzzy Leonard and Pat Novak were so gracious and willing to share information about Little Italy with Zoë [pictured center]. I am so blown away by everyone's genuine kindness. We wish we were Italian!!!"
~ Sarah, Zoë's mom

Promotion Center for Little Italy

Director & Founder

Ray Alcaraz

Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization established in 2010 with a mission to promote Little Italy's events,
community organizations, history and Italian heritage.