Italian Festival special edition
June 2019
FUN for all ages & nationalities!
(rain or shine)

Porta la famiglia - bring the family! 
$1 donation admission
festival food & activities
all weekend!

Lower School Hall
Stiles Street

Includes pasta, meatballs, salad, fresh Italian bread, and air conditioning! Cash bar offers soda, water, beer & vino.

photo street festival

Join us 9:30 am Sunday in Saint Leo's Church for Mass followed by our traditional street procession with the Saint Anthony statue, singing of the Italian & American national anthems, Knights of Columbus Color Guard & a marching band!
winner of basket

Game wheels offer you the chance to win Italian-themed products, wine, cash, and more!

Knights of Columbus /St. Vincent Pallotti Council of St. Leo's offers you the chance for only $1 to win a Ford Mustang 2020 or $18,000 cash!
2nd prize iPad;
3rd prize $200 Visa gift card
Saint Leo's Church hosted
  • calzone & fried dough
  • Italian sausage & peppers
  • pit beef & meatballs
  • porchetta & broccoli rabe
  • pizza & eggplant
  • chicken parmesan
  • garden salad​
  • cannoli & pizzelle
  • vino & domestic / Italian beer
  • homemade lemonade
Please note the parish's food and beverage stands accept CASH ONLY.
(Some of our outside vendors accept credit cards.) An ATM will be on-site.
Our festival cannot happen without you, the VOLUNTEER ! Click button below to email Wanda Daniels, Volunteer Coordinator, who will slot you in whichever day and time you can work. She'll do her best to place you at your preferred desired stand, however, we ask for your flexibility.
Saint Leo's needs your time and muscles. To help, simply show up any day May 28-31, preferably 9 am, or any time you can!

Tuesday, May 28
Cut/cook peppers & onions
Wednesday, May 29
Make calzone mix
Thursday, May 30
Outside setup begins
Friday, May 31
Festival setup in full swing

Indoors in the Little Italy Lodge. Enter through the bocce courts or the front door at 905 E. Pratt Street.

Father Bernie Carman, Saint Leo's pastor,
invites you to ...
festival entertainment
Baltimore Hoop Love 's performers:

roving Venetian gondolier

Italian costume stilt walker 

"living statue" with bubble machine

roving Venetian gondolier

balloon artist with bubble machine

Italian costume stilt walker
Allegro Dance Compan y's Italian dancers from West Virginia
will perform three 30-minute shows daily (on stage)

Saturday 3:00-6:00 pm
Sunday 12:30-3:30 pm

all weekend!

12-4pm Mixed Company
4-8pm The Monaldis

11am-3pm Small Miracle
3-7pm Chicky & Friends

A giant tent with tables & chairs will be set up in front of the stage area. Sit and enjoy la musica -
or - dance in the street!
Roma Sausage
Eating Contest!
Sunday 3 pm
Anyone can participate!
Sign up free with one of the roaming Roman Gladiators.
Prizes for 1st-2nd-3rd!
vendor lineup
  • Alpha Omega (Greek-imported olive oil, balsamic vinegar, peppers, soap)
  • Ameri-Dry (waterproofing)
  • Bill Wierzalis (photography of Italy)
  • Bob Bell Automotive/Nissan/Kia
  • Chilly Willy Italian ice
  • Conrad's Seafood
  • Daughters of Isabella (a society of St. Leo's Church)
  • Gina's Wish (soy candles, olive oil, soap & more)
  • Knights of Columbus / St. Vincent Pallotti Council (car raffle)
  • Mike Ngrabski (artist's illustrations)
  • Oceans Away (Stephen Oshins, tapestries, purses, posters & more)
street closures & parking
CLOSURES: S. Exeter & Stiles Streets will be closed between 7 am Thursday, May 30 through 4 pm Monday, June 3 . All vehicles MUST be moved before 7 am on May 30. Saint Leo's will be forced to have towed any remaining cars (at owners' expenses) as the need for total use of the streets will ensure a smoother festival setup and breakdown. Grazie.

PARKING: There's plenty of parking in Little Italy! View parking map & info . Stratford University at the eastern corner of Stiles Street opens its parking lot as a complimentary courtesy to Saint Leo's.
history of the neighborhood
Learn about the fascinating history of Little Italy and its Italian immigrants in Baltimore's Little Italy: Heritage and History of The Neighborhood on sale during the festival. Book proceeds benefit the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore; it was written by a Saint Leo's parishioner.
Why we honor Saint Anthony
with an annual festival
(since June 13, 1904)
Sunday February 7, 1904, was a brutally cold and windy day in Baltimore. A single spark ignited a blaze in a warehouse at Redwood & Sharp Streets and the building had engulfed in flames. By noon, the fire had spread to nearby buildings, the wind spurring it on eastward. Fire companies from D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York rushed to join the battle, but the hungry flames devoured every building in their path as downtown Baltimore became an inferno.

Towards evening, it was obvious Little Italy was in danger. Italian residents began to flee, taking whatever belongings they could carry. Yet many of them refused to leave their homes and belongings they had worked so hard to acquire. Instead, they gathered on the east bank of the Jones Falls and prayed for God to spare them from the flames. Someone in the crowd cried out, “Saint Anthony, protect us!” as others mimicked the cry. A few men rushed to Saint Leo’s Church and returned with the Saint Anthony statue and a vessel of holy water. Residents made a solemn vow - if their homes and beloved church were spared from the fire, they would hold an annual festival in honor of Saint Anthony.

Around 6 a.m. Monday, a strong wind blew the flames in another direction. Efforts to clean up downtown had not even begun when, in gratitude, the people of Saint Leo’s founded the Saint Anthony Society and started the celebration which began with a solemn Mass. Afterwards, the entire neighborhood joined in a procession through the streets of Little Italy in celebration. The first festival was June 13, 1904, and an annual procession and Italian festival has continued to today!
how our generous festival
sponsors donate to Saint Leo's
Fence Fair ad
Fence Fair (parishioners Will & Donna Matricciani) provides and installs the fencing which encloses the festival within the neighborhood.
This 501c3 nonprofit organization (parishioner Suzanna Molino, Director & Founder) promotes St. Leo's and its events across social media and through this newsletter. It also produces and donates festival promotional postcards plus $300 toward entertainment.
Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop (Maria & Nick Vaccaro) donates approximately 1,400 cannoli which Saint Leo's sells during the festival.
Chiapparelli's Restaurant in Little Italy donates dough used to make the calzone and fried dough which St. Leo's sells.

Roma Sausage in Baltimore donates the sausage to sell at Saint Leo's sausage & peppers stand and hosts the sausage-eating contest held on stage Sunday 3 pm.
Sabatino's Italian Restaurant in Little Italy donates 20 gallons of salad dressing used for St. Leo's
salad stand.
Domino Sugar in Baltimore donates 800 lbs. of sugar for St. Leo's lemonade stand and other uses.
Sun of Italy Products (parishioner Mike Pastore) in Baltimore provides promotional pricing on
Italian food products for Saint Leo's food stands.

Disability Support Services (Lou Mazzulli) donates the use of electricity from its building on Stiles Street to produce the stage music.
Apartment Services (Carl Julio) donates a staff of workers to help with festival setup and breakdown.
Vinny's Italian Cafe in Dundalk donates approximately 200 pizza shells for St. Leo's
pizza stand.
Team Four Foods donates money to St. Leo's to purchase produce and meat for some of the food stands.
can't attend the June festa?
another one is coming!
Saturday & Sunday
August 17 & 18, 2019
Feast of Saint Gabriele
WANT TO BE A VENDOR IN THE AUGUST FESTIVAL? Businesses and individuals offering cash-n-carry products for sale (Italian-related preferred, but others accepted upon approval) are invited to participate in Saint Leo's AUGUST 17-18 Italian festival. Hours: Saturday 12-8 pm; Sunday 11am-7 pm. 10x10 booth space for a $300 donation to Saint Leo Church. Click button below for an application.

FESTIVAL SPONSORSHIPS are offered. Email Rob Daniels at Saint Leo's .

Promotion Center
for Little Italy, Baltimore

Director & Founder

 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.