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Holy Rosary Italian Street Festival returns to Indianapolis with homemade food, live music

Since 1983, the historic catholic church in Fletcher Place has hosted the festival, transforming the area into an Italian village.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Indianapolis kicked off its annual Italian Street Festival by offering all the favorites like cannoli, spaghetti, ravioli and meatball sandwiches.

The best part is everything is homemade.  

“I definitely need the cannoli and they are homemade and everything,” said Teresa Fry, who visited the festival for the first time.  

Since 1983, the historic catholic church in Fletcher Place has hosted the festival. Every year, it transforms the area into a little Italian village. 

“It provides about 30% of the operating budget a year. It is a huge thing for the church and right now, it’s an almost 120-year-old building, so we are working on trying to keep it standing,” said Father Ryan McCarthy with Holy Rosary Catholic Church. 

Families can also enjoy live music at the nearby park.  

“I just love the feeling of community and camaraderie,” said Beth Green.  

Green and Terry Short have been coming to the festival together for eight years. They said it’s the food that keeps them coming back. 

“My favorite is fried ravioli and then my second is meatballs on a stick,” Green said.  

Credit: WTHR

Volunteers spend weeks preparing and cooking.

“We make about 10,000 meatball sandwiches, about 7,000 cannoli and 71 cheesecakes,” said Lisa Meister, one of the volunteers who has been working the festival since day one.  

Meister said it’s a tradition that’s passed down from family to family, giving Hoosiers a chance to indulge and learn about the Italian culture. 

Credit: WTHR

“We want to keep the Italian heritage going. We don’t want it to die. We want to keep it going generation after generation,” said Kayla Walker, a volunteer with the church.  

The festival will also run Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at 520 Stevens Street and surrounding Lacy Park. There is free parking in the Eli Lilly lots on East and New Jersey streets.

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