Last updated on April 11th, 2022 at 10:29 am
Citing concerns related to the health of its members, the Italian Community Center (ICC) Board of Directors announced Friday the cancelation of Festa Italiana 2022. The annual celebration of Italian culture has not been held since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most gatherings in 2020. Festa Italiana is held at Henry Maier Festival Park at the Milwaukee lakefront.
“COVID-19 has impacted virtually every business and industry across the country,” said Rose Ann Fritchie, president of the ICC and Festa Italiana director. “Unfortunately, Festa Italiana in Milwaukee is among the festivals that has to adapt after the economic impact of the past two years.”
The decision to cancel Festa Italiana is at odds with what other major Milwaukee festivals have decided to do this year. Summerfest is returning this June and July and attendees will not be required to wear masks or provide proof of vaccination. PrideFest, Irish Fest and Germanfest are also slated to return this summer.
Fritchie said there are several factors that went into the board’s decision to cancel Festa Italiana 2022.
“The social impact of holding Festa Italiana is near and dear to our hearts and brings with it a stronger bond between the Italian Community Center and the city of Milwaukee,” Fritchie said. “We have always been proud to be the oldest of the ethnic festivals in Milwaukee. However, we are at a point in time where we must think of not only the physical health of our members, but also the financial health of our organization when planning events.”