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Things to do in Syracuse: Diverse Syracuse Cultural Festival Events

Things to do in Syracuse: Diverse Syracuse Cultural Festival Events

Syracuse has always been a city of immigrants, and every national group—Italians, Irish, Poles, Ukrainians, Vietnamese, Somalis—has helped shape the diverse fabric of the town. One advantage of this international history is that every group holds a cultural festival at some time. If you’re looking for things to do in Syracuse, a cultural festival has to be on your list.

Italian Fest

The Syracuse Italian Festival—Festa Italiana to the organizers—is held every year in September to allow the community to experience a culture other than their own.

Montgomery and Washington Streets transformed into a piece of Little Italy Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the 19th year in a row.

The three day festival was filled with music, demonstrations, Italian bingo, games of bocce, and a myriad of great tasting Italian food vendors.

Italian Food Vender

Italian Food Vendor

Musician, Ashley Cox, said that this cultural festival brings together restaurants and vendors all to celebrate Italian culture and the Syracuse community.

“It’s our heritage. I think all nationalities don’t do a lot for their heritage, so this is very special,” said Lostunbo. “It’s a melting pot. The vendors have been with us for many years, and the bands have been with us for many years. It becomes like a family.”

A clown was playing with children at the Italian cultural festival

A clown was playing with children at the Italian Festival.

A sense of family is what Festa Italiana strives to provide year after year, whether festival goers are Italian or not.

Grace Poven, who moved out of Syracuse, said these kind of events give her an excuse to come back to the place she used to call home.

“I moved to Auburn, and I come back for any of the festivals that are downtown,” Poven said. “It gives people the chance to really have a place to go, to come out, and hang out in the community.”

Diverse Events

This festival and many others Syracuse has to offer makes a connection between people in the city and culture with a weekend of food, music, and fun.

A musician was singing and playing the guitar at cultural festival.

A musician was singing and playing the guitar at Syracuse cultural festival.

Every summer the coming of Syracuse Greek Fest immerses people in the atmosphere of Greek culture. Next year will be a special year for Greek community for the 100th anniversary of their established Church in Syracuse. Moreover, another well-known annual festival which has ended successfully on Sept. 10 is Syracuse Irish Festival. This event won the 2014 and 2013 Best Ethnic Festival in Best of Syracuse. In addition, Festa Italiana is the 2015 winner.

Upcoming Syracuse Cultural Festival Events

Some Syracuse cultural festival events coming soon are: the Spirit of the Harvest Cultural Celebration on November 19 at SRC Arena, and the Taste of Coptic Egypt on Oct. 1 at the St. Mary & St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church. For more event information check out the events calendar in!

About The Author


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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