Italian American Festival returning to downtown Canton

Jan 05, 2016 869

By Charita Goshay

The Stark County Italian American Festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year with a return to downtown Canton. The 2016 festival will be held June 23-25 at the Market Square green space in the 300 block of Market Ave. N. The festival has been held at the Stark County Fairground for the past 26 years, but rising operating expenses at that site has prompted the event to return to its roots, said Louie Mattachione, scholarship chairman and a member of Italian Festival Foundation's board of trustees.

"At the end of last year we looked at our budget," he said. "We paid a large amount for rent. On top of that, we had to pay for electricity. It just got to be to where we were making money just to pay for the fairgrounds." Mattachione said the goal of the festival is twofold: To celebrate Italian heritage, food and customs, and to raise money for college scholarships for Stark County high school graduates. The foundation awards four, $2,000 scholarships each year. To date, it has raised $232,000. Margaret Delillo Storey is foundation president.

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