Annual event offers food, entertainment, children’s activities

Families can experience a taste of Italy without leaving town during the annual Columbus Italian Festival.

The event, slated for Oct. 5-7 at St. John the Baptist church, aims to provide visitors with information about the European country’s food, pastimes and music. It offers an eclectic assortment of activities, from cooking demonstrations to bocce ball tournaments, singing and dancing performances and even discussions about gelato vs. ice cream. There’s also plenty of pizza and rides for the kids.

A parade, which includes a high school marching band competition, steps off at 1 p.m. Sunday. This year’s grand marshal is Linda Shetina Logan, founding and executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. For details about the route, go to columbusitalianfestival.com/parade.

Admission is $5. Children younger than 12 are admitted free with a paying adult. Hours are 5-11 p.m. Oct. 5, noon to 11 p.m. Oct. 6 and noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 7. St. John the Baptist is located at 720 Hamlet St. in Italian Village. For more information, go to, columbusitalianfestival.com.