THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) – The Ferragosto Festival is a celebration of Italian heritage in one of the oldest Italian neighborhoods in the city: Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. 

“This is where originally the Italians all came to the city. This is where they originated and started their mom-and-pop shops,” said Deanna Spaccarelli.

The Belmont Business Improvement District has been hosting and organizing the annual celebration since 1997, bringing together Italian culture, food, and live entertainment.

“It really celebrates who we are as an authentic Italian community and a culinary center,” said Alyssa Tucker, executive director of Belmont BID.

The businesses in the Belmont neighborhood plan for months to cater to the thousands of visitors who have strong ties to the neighborhood or are experiencing it for the first time.

“From when I was a child, my dad used to bring us. We used to eat at all the restaurants. They are still here hanging on. Thank God. And we love it. So we come every year,” Mike Spaccarelli said. 

From savory sausage and peppers to sweets like the classic cannoli, Ferragosto offers a taste of Arthur Avenue at reasonable prices. And the food comes with a side of heritage. 

“It is part of the legacy of the Renaissance in Italy. Actors like this would stand on the street corners to busk and help to get attention for vendors,” Mathew Gregory, with the group Department of Fools, explained.

And while the rain may have caused a slow start, the weather could not dampen spirits or stop the Italian pride.