Any type of Italian food one might be craving will likely be available this weekend at St. John's Church on Newton Avenue.
The church's 29th annual Italian Festival will take place this weekend, and event co-organizer Jim Boland said that a great deal of advance preparation has gone into making sure there will be enough food for all who visit.
''It's like our family picnic,'' Boland said. ''We'll serve anywhere from 10,000 to 14,000 people over the two days.''
The 29th annual St. John’s Church Italian Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at the church grounds on Newton Avenue in Jamestown.
P-J file photo
Among the food available for the thousands who will attend the festival this weekend will be cannolis, garduni sandwiches, Italian sausages, Italian hoagies, spumoni, tripe, tortellini, pasta fazul and many other Italian delicacies. And they will be available in large quantities.
''We have about 32,000 homemade Italian cookies - they come from every lady in the parish,'' Boland said. ''We made about 3,200 cannoli shells. It's all done by hand.''
Food won't be the only thing packing people onto the church grounds at 270 Newton Ave. this weekend, though. The festival will also including live music and much more.
Entertainment on Saturday evening will include a Frank Sinatra impersonator from 5:30 to 8:30. Sunday afternoon, Happy Days will play from 1 until 4:30.
A bocce tournament will be held beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday on the new courts recently installed on the grounds. The City Fathers, the County Fathers and the Good Fathers will then play in an exhibition game on Sunday.
Throughout the event, Boland said, everything that happens continues the theme of a family atmosphere.
''It's designed for people to get together, sit down, have some Italian food, chat and go over what's going in the world,'' he said. ''The whole idea is to give folks a wide variety of things they might not have had before,'' Boland said.
While there are some food booths set up outside the church during the event, a large number of them are set up inside the church hall - meaning that they aren't visible to passers-by. All are encouraged to stop in and see all the festival has to offer, he said.
The event is the Holy Apostles Parish's largest fundraiser of the year, Boland said. Funds raised from the festival go to help with general upkeep of the parish, as well as to help cover the cost of any special projects the pastor might select with his council.
Hours for the 29th annual St. John's Church Italian Festival are noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Parking, admission and the entertainment are all free.