WHEELING - Over 50 hours of absolutely free musical and cultural entertainment await festival-goers at the 30th annual Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival on July 27, 28 and 29. Two stages of continuous live entertainment at Wheeling's Heritage Port will feature local and regional talent, while strolling musicians and dancers will entertain at various Water Street locations through Sunday.
Headliners include The Jaggerz, Elio Saccio, White Collar Criminals And Avanti On Friday, The Fabulous Bender Boys, Ronnie Fiorentino, The Joseph Sisters, Ray Massa's Eurorhythms, Us Kids And Matt Shafer On Saturday, And The Ovac All-Star Band, Joe Negri All-Star Band, Allegro Dance Company And Moreno Fruzzetti on Sunday.
Special attractions this year include the popular Little Italy Plaza at the north end of Water Street, the annual Veterans Appreciation Ceremony at noon on Saturday, an Italian wine bar, folk dancing, great arts and crafts, fireworks from the Suspension Bridge by Ohio Fireworks on Saturday night, Roman Catholic Mass on Sunday celebrated by Bishop Michael Bransfield, amusement rides and games, and strolling musicians.
Little Italy will feature live Italian music, specialty Italian food and wines, cultural activities, a pasta-making demonstration, Italian crafts, and bocce tournaments all weekend long, including a tournament on Friday morning for participants in the Community Rehabilitation Programs throughout the Ohio Valley.
Events officially kick-off on July 27 at noon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Heritage Port Stage. Over 150,000 people are expected to visit Wheeling to enjoy the food, music and family fun at the 30th annual Italian Heritage Festival, the second-largest Italian festival in America. Visit www.italyfest.com for more information.