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Also in Special Events & Festivals

Ferragosto: Italian Street Fair

Like many contemporary festivals and holidays, the Christian Assumption Day has pagan roots. Commonly known in Italy as Ferragosto, this autumnal festival celebrates both the Holy Day of Obligation commemorating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the seasonal end to laboring in the fields. But Ferragosto is also derived from the Latin Feriae Augusti (Festival of Augustus), and originally celebrated the Roman goddess Diana and the cyclical nature of fertility.

Started in Salt Lake City to help bring together the many Italian immigrants who call this place home, Ferragosto has become an annual festival highlighting one facet of the cultural diversity found in Utah. According to Jinger “Mama” LaGuardia, one of the founders, “People may not realize what a large community we have here, probably because the Italians aren’t as organized as the Greeks.”

Overseen by the Italian Center of the West, the festival this year goes from being a downtown street festival to a two-day affair held at St. Ambrose Parish in Sugar House and will include film, art, food, vendors and entertainment.

“The festival has brought the local Italians together and strengthened bonds,” LaGuardia says. “They are proud to showcase their family-centered culture and share the very traditions that shape the essence of who they are as a people … love of God, family, Italian music, Italian recipes and dishes, crafts and games such as bocce. At the festival, everyone is invited to ‘be Italian’ and share in the rich cultural experience.” (Jacob Stringer)

Date: Aug 24, 2012
Phone: 801-485-5610
Address: 1975 S. 2300 East, Salt Lake City, 84108
Where: St. Ambrose Catholic Church