Festa Picnic

The Summer Festa Picnic is a long-standing family event held by the Society its founding in 1929. The picnic brings a small piece of Italy and its traditions to central Illinois each summer. What began as a social event for Italian immigrants has evolved into the Society's major fundraiser for its scholarship programs. Indeed, the picnic has become a major, family-centered, community event attended by hundreds of people. Join us at the Festa for food, fun, and family. At the Festa we are happy to have two feature music acts, with Italian songs being sung by Vince Amore and Jack Miuccio. 

Thank you to our 2023 Festa sponsors! 
  • Bradley University, Mid-State Terrazzo & Tile/Basso Family, Stephen P. Kelly Attorney at Law, Lefante Law Offices, PC; 
  • Peoria LaGondola & Leonardo's, Weaver's Fresh Food & Drink
  • IBEW 34; Davis & Campbell LLC; Elias, Meginnes & Seghetti, PC; Installation Specialties/Tim DiBernardino; Kay & Joe Vespa Family, Kathy & Dan Maloof
  • Galva Pharmacy, Hecht Stout Insurance Agency, Reading & Son Plumbing, Inc, Rizzi's Italian Restaurant, UAW Senior Citizen Center, WE Sullivans

And to our member patrons: Gary Ferrari, Bob & Diane Fuller, Maureen Hallengren, Camille Heller, Beth Johnson, Mar Foster, Megan Rumpel, Chance Sergenti, Anna Venzon, Dean Costello

General Information About the 2024 Event

WHEN: Sunday, August 11, 2024, 12-5 p.m. 

WHERE: Hickory Grove Park (12403 Hickory Grove Road, Dunlap IL 61525) which is located on Hickory Grove Road [HGR]. Take Illinois State Route 40 [in the city of Peoria called Knoxville Avenue], approximately 3 miles North of NorthPoint Shopping Center. Turn right onto HGR [there is a stoplight at the intersection of Rt. 40 and HGR]. Follow the road approximately 1 mile to the fork in the road. At the fork keep to the right and you will see the Park on your left. FREE PARKING is to the right.

FOOD: Authentic Italian recipes prepared by Barrack's Cater Inn: mostaccioli with marinara sauce and choice of meatball or Italian sausage; meatball sandwich or Italian sausage sandwich. There will also be a variety of homemade Italian desserts to purchase from the bakery stand.  

DRINK: Italian and domestic beer, wines, soda and water.

GIFT BOOTH: A variety of Italian t-shirts, hats, pins and other items of Italian regalia will be available.

BOCCE BALL: We will again have our fun Bocce Ball tournament! Play begins at 2:30pm. If you'd like to sign up your team of two in advance, CLICK HERE.

VENDOR FAIR: We invite crafters and merchants to join us for an opportunity to sell their products. Click here for an application and details. 

KIDS' CORNER: Visit our kids area for fun, games, Fun on the Run slide, and a face painter! We'll also be teaching the Tarantella dance!

ADMISSION: The park is open to guests of all ages. Admission is $3 per adult at the gate, cash or Venmo. Children under 12 years old are free. Tickets will not be sold in advance. Please no pets except service dogs individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. This is the PARK RULE. We appreciate your cooperation. 

VOLUNTEER: We need you! CLICK HERE for our volunteer sign up!  Interested in one of our t-shirts to wear at the Festa? Orders are due no later than July 9, 2024. You can contact us with your order and still pay at the July 14 General Assembly meeting. SEE BELOW for the t-shirt order form. 

SPONSORSHIP: Are you interested in supporting our efforts as a sponsor? There are several levels of sponsorship available. If you have questions, reach out to Rhonda Ossola Parker at rmop1995@gmail.com. Below is the 2024 sponsorship information and commitment form. 

Live Italian music for dancing and entertainment provided by Vince Amore and Jack Miuccio. Food and drink available for purchase.

Presentation of the Colors by Peoria American Legion Post #2.

Inflatable attraction and face painting.

Italian American Society Scholarship Awards

Children's Spaghetti-Eating Contest: three age groups (4-6, 7-9, and 10-12).

Bocce Tournaments for both Adults and Children. BRING YOUR BOCCE SETS!!

Craft corner for local crafters to sell their goods.