The 2018 Little Italy Festa on Taylor St.

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“Leave the gun, take the cannoli”

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Taylor on Taylor Street

Last night marked the start of the 2018 Little Italy Festa on Taylor Street. I’m 50 percent Italian, and was only 50 percent aware that this festival even existed. However, now that I’ve made a visit, I can safely say that I will be back.

Taylor Street, what was once the hub of all-things Italian in Chicago, is now a bit more varied in it’s offerings. With this fest, the street shuts down and returns to its roots and feels like a (fun) scene right out of The Godfather (all cannolis, no guns). The street was filled with pizza, gelato, and meatballs as far as the eye could see. This, blended with the songs of Sinatra as well as a few renditions of Volare, made you feel like you were in the Old Country.

“Make America Italian Again”

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Mike Marino performs on the main stage: “Make America Italian Again”

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Taylor Leddin, Mike Marino, and Laura Orrico

The highlight of the evening were the comedy acts on the main stage. The Uncle Louie Variety Show performed first and taught the audience “broken English words of the day” (e.g. “asso” – yeah, you got it). Next, “New Jersey’s Bad Boy”, Mike Marino, performed and hilariously encouraged the audience to “Make America Italian Again”.
By the end of the night, I had exhausted myself with laughter, gelato, and a piece of pizza the size of my head. And, I would happily do it again. If you’re in the Chicagoland area – even if you’re not Italian – check this out because I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.

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