Festa Italiana 2022 on Italian Community Center grounds

Festa Italiana comes back to Milwaukee in 2022, but it will take place on the grounds of the Italian Community Center.

The festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25. 

It was canceled. Then it was back on. Then it was canceled again. Now, Festa Italiana is finally coming back with changes. Festa will not be held on the Summerfest grounds, nor will it take place in the summer. Instead, it will go back to its roots at the ICC. 

SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News

"Food, family and tradition. This is a Festa Italiana experience," said Rose Ann Ceraso Fritchie, director of Festa Italiana and president of the Italian Community Center Board. 

Festa Italiana 2022 will be held in the fall instead of summer.

Festa Italiana, Milwaukee

"We’re bringing all the Festa favorites -- including watching our Italian dance group, Cucina, Italian Idol, the Mass and procession and more -- to our own backyard," said Ceraso Fritchie. 

The festival will return to its roots, moving to the ICC in the Third Ward. 

"We made a decision, and it was fiscally based, to not hold Festa 2022 on the Summerfest grounds, Henry Maier festival grounds in July," said Ceraso Fritchie.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android

Festa's director said money and the coronavirus pandemic have made it difficult to hold a large event.

"Consequently, we just did not feel that it was fiscally responsible for us to risk the money in a large festival this year," said Ceraso Fritchie. 

Festa released a notice in April saying the event would be canceled. The press release added organizers would "reimagine how we celebrate Italian culture and heritage in 2022."

The director said that made a lot of people unhappy.

"It upset people a great deal. I’m very sorry," said Ceraso Fritchie. "They have no idea how much it hurt those of us on the board of directors and intimate in the community. It hurt us a great deal."

Festa Italiana 2022 is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25. 

Plans are also in place to hold events like Mass and an art exhibit inside the ICC. 

"It will be much smaller. It will be much more intimate. It will be much more fun, I think," said Ceraso Fritchie. 

"Preliminary plans indicate that we will use this entire area, so what I call our building parking lot," said Ceraso Fritchie. 

Gondola ride at Festa Italiana

She also said the cost to get into Festa will be lower than year's past because of the smaller venue. 

"Cost of the food and beverage, it should be comparable," she said.

When asked whether Festa Italiana would ever return to Maier Festival Park, Ceraso Fritchie said festival organizers are taking it one year at a time.