Pittsburgh’s Little Italy Days festival canceled for 2020 | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh’s Little Italy Days festival canceled for 2020

click to enlarge Pittsburgh’s Little Italy Days festival canceled for 2020
CP photo: Jared Wickerman
Little Italy sign in Bloomfield
After initially being rescheduled from its usual slot in August to the second weekend in October, the Little Italy Days festival in Bloomfield has been canceled this year.

Festival organizer Sal Richetti said the festival has been canceled because of coronavirus restrictions, and worries about the safety of festival attendees.

Allegheny County is still seeing dozens of new COVID-19 cases each day.

Little Italy Days regularly attracts more than 100,000 attendees over four days. There are dozens of booths, food vendors, and music acts. Crowds are a very jammed pack on Liberty Avenue during the festivities.

In July, Richetti announced that he was moving the festival to what would be this weekend. But the Little Italy Days website says “continuing restriction on large events because COVID-19, have forced us to postpone the festival until 2021."

Yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced new guidelines for large gatherings at outdoor venues, but there are still restrictions that limit crowds. The Steelers can have up to 7,500 fans at Heinz Field, for example. This news also comes too close to Little Italy Days' planned festivities for Richetti to schedule a festival this weekend.

Richetti is hopeful that Little Italy Days, which won Best Festival this year in Pittsburgh City Paper’s Best Of readers poll, will return next year, hopefully to its usual slot in the third weekend in August. “It’s gonna be a great festival next year,” says Richetti.

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