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The Feast of the Assumption - How to Celebrate Like a Local

Insider Tips for The Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy

Navigating to Little Italy can be a challenge on any given day but for four days in August, folks from all over descend upon this tiny enclave for The Feast of the Assumption so things can get kind of crazy. Here are some tips for making the most of this iconic Cleveland festival.
Cleveland's Feast of the Assumption, Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio Festivals

What is the Feast of the Assumption?

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Catholic holy day that commemorates Mary being taken into Heaven. It takes place each year on August 15. In Cleveland, a Mass is celebrated at Holy Rosary Church at 10:00am. Afterwards, the statue of the Virgin Mary is taken in procession throughout the Little Italy neighborhood. While the festival is in honor of a religious event, there is much celebrating throughout the weekend for everyone to enjoy. This is the only annual fundraiser for Holy Rosary, so you can feel good knowing that your fun benefits the education of parish children the maintenance and upkeep of the Church's buildings and grounds.
Virgin Mary, Feast of the Assumption, Little Italy, Cleveland

Where is Cleveland's Feast of the Assumption Festival?

The Feast is a fundraiser for Holy Rosary Church, 12021 Mayfield Rd. in Cleveland. All of the festivities center around the Church, but you'll find food and fun all throughout Little Italy, primarily along Mayfield and Murray Hill Roads.

When is The Feast This Year?

After being on hold last year because of COVID, The Feast is back for 2021! This year, The Feast is being held from Thursday, August 12th at 6pm through Sunday, August 15th at 11pm.

5 Tips to Enjoy the Feast of the Assumption Like a Local

1. Don't drive - Take public transportation or ride share.
2. Support the church - It's Holy Rosary's only fundraiser and without them, there would be no festival.
3. Try lots of different foods - There is truly something for everyone. We like to share food so we can try more things. We like to get food to-go for the next day too!
4. Go during off-peak times - It's an extremely popular event so prepare for huge crowds and lines if you go on the weekend.
5. Stay hydrated - it's normally hot so don't drink too much alcohol and stay hydrated. You'll thank me the next day.

Food at The Feast

The food is the main reason most people head to Little Italy for The Feast. You'll find a delicious assortment of all things Italian American from eggplant parmesan to cannoli.

Support the church by ordering their famous cavatelli with a giant meatball and my absolute favorite, the Pizza Sausage - a slice of cheese pizza wrapped around a link of Italian sausage like a bun. It's the best! 
Sausage Pizza, The Feast of the Assumption, Little Italy, Cleveland

They also have a Cavatelli Dinner inside the Church Hall that includes cavatelli, meatball, salad, a roll, cake and a beverage - plus it's air-conditioned!

Many of the local restaurants set up stands along Mayfield Road so you can easily sample from multiple places. Some of my favorites serving food at The Feast are Mia Bella and Trattoria on the Hill.

Fresh-squeezed lemonade and Italian ice is on hand to help you cool off too.

I recommend having your own Cannoli Taste Off and see which you like better - Presti's or Corbos.

Parking at The Feast

There's no way to say it any other way except that parking for The Feast is a nightmare! Most street parking is by permit only and you will be ticketed for disobeying the signs. I highly recommend that you take the RTA Rapid if possible. There is a stop right in Little Italy, so it's super convenient and affordable. If you take a ride share such as Uber or Lyft, have them drop you off on Euclid or at the top of the hill by Lakeview Cemetery and walk the rest of the way. There are a few parking lots and garages in the area too but it's like winning the lottery trying to grab one of those spots.

Things to Do at The Feast

Yes, there are other things to do at The Feast of the Assumption besides eat! The church has a full schedule of rides, games and entertainment for all ages. 

Many bars and restaurants set up tents and have patios with bands and DJs. There will be lots of dancing and folks having a good time. There are plenty of spots to grab a cold one too. The patio behind Angelo's Nido Italia is my personal favorite.  

Make sure you stop by the newly unveiled Rocky Colavito statue in Tony Brush Park. 

One of the best parts about going to The Feast is that you are sure to run into someone you know. Those unexpected encounters are so much fun!

When Should You Go to The Feast?

The Feast is a tremendously popular event and is always VERY crowded. If you like to be in the mix and see the most people, go on the weekends. Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest. If you prefer not to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the masses, go on Thursday night or early on Sunday for smaller crowds. 

No matter when you go, it's worth the inconvenience of getting there and wading through crowds. It's a true Cleveland Must Do!