Omaha’s Santa Lucia Festival to include shoe drive for children in need

Jul 10, 2024 140

BY: Craig Nigrelli

The Santa Lucia Festival is celebrating 100 years in Omaha this year. The cultural event that highlights Italian-American history and heritage begins Aug. 1. This year, the festival committee is leading an effort to gather 500 new pairs of athletic shoes for children whose families might not be able to afford such an expense.

Boxes of new sneakers are piling up in a bin at the Thrivent financial services office in west Omaha. At a church near downtown, in another bin, somebody has donated a new pair of pink sneakers and some sharp looking New Balance running shoes. “This is really a highlight of our 100th festival to make sure we are actively improving the lives of the people around us, " said Woody Diederich, Festival Committee Treasurer and Thrivent employee.

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