San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade and Festival Moves to Social Distanced and Virtual Events
New series of events to mark October Italian Heritage Month
Can’t travel to Italy this year? Come get the next best thing in North Beach!
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Monday, September 21st, 2020 — The San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade and Festival is excited to announce a new series of social distanced and virtual events celebrating Italian Heritage Month. This year’s celebration will be different, but there will still be many opportunities for the Italian-American community and those who celebrate Italian culture to do so in new ways.
Italian Heritage Parade and Festival Events Schedule
Friday, October 9th – Washington Square Lighting and Italian Heritage Weekend Kickoff – the kickoff to Italian Heritage Parade and Festival Weekend as well as Italian Heritage Month. We will raise the Italian flag honoring contributions of Italian Americans to San Francisco, countdown to light up the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club and St. Peter and Paul’s Church and Washington Square park in the red, white and green of the Italian flag. Live accordion music will be played at street level. A full outdoor bar and food will be available for purchase from SFIAC Porta Via restaurant. Speakers and performers will connect with the community from the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club balcony and include:
- San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade and Festival President Bill Mastrangelo
- District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani
- Consul General Lorenzo Ortona
- Maria Pignati will perform the Italian national anthem
Saturday & Sunday, October 10th and 11th – Italian Heritage Weekend in North Beach – the Italian-American community welcomes everyone to support local business and enjoy our open spaces in North Beach. The San Francisco Italian Athletic Club is hosting daily outdoor dining and family entertainment, many restaurants are open for outdoor seating, and there are also many to-go options perfect for park and piazza dining. Please view events and participating restaurants here.
Italian Heritage Lights – to mark Italian Heritage Day and Italian Heritage Month, the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club and Sts. Peter and Paul Church will be lit up in the red, white and green tricolore on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. San Francisco City Hall will be lit up on Saturday night to honor the contributions of Italian Americans to the foundation of SF of today.
Sunday, October 11th, Virtual Italian Heritage Celebration – those that are unable to join the community in North Beach can watch a virtual show online. The show will be presented in a thirty minute video featuring dignitaries, music, performances, and representatives of Italian and Italian-American organizations and businesses. Tune in and watch at 11am on Sunday or anytime after on-demand on the Italian Heritage Facebook and Youtube pages. Saluto alla Parata!
Other events on Sunday, October 11th include:
Virtual High Mass at Sts. Peter & Paul Church – Join the community at 10am for a virtual mass, which will be livestreamed on the church website.
In partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute, Museo Italo Americano and CIAO Bay Area, there will be a month-long celebration, including the following events:
Italian Cultural Institute Free Italian Movie Sundays – every Sunday in October, the Italian Cultural Institute will host the film series CINEDAY, featuring ten Italian contemporary films in Italian with English subtitles available to the first 300 to register. View the full schedule at the Italian Cultural Institute website.
Week of the Italian Language – The theme for the Week of the Italian Language in the World (October 19-25, 2020), is “Italian Between Word and Image: Graffiti, Illustrations, Comic Books,” a theme that can be developed both in a socio-linguistic key and by emphasizing expressive forms such as comics books, graphic novels and children’s books. View the full events schedule at the Italian Cultural Institute website.
Museo Italo Americano Italian Heritage Month events – The Museo Italo Americano in collaboration with the Leonardo Da Vinci Society of San Francisco, are presenting a new online illustrated lecture series, “Four Historical Italians Who Went to China and Left a Mark.” RSVP on the museo website and also view two online museum exhibits, “In Cerca di Una Nuova Vita, Italian Immigration from Italy to California,” and “Beniamino Bufano – So Be It In Peace, A Retrospective from Our Permanent Collection.”
“The health and safety of the hundreds of groups that march and thousands of Bay Area residents that attend the Italian Heritage Festival and Parade is our top priority for 2020,” said Steve Leveroni, Chairman of the Board, San Francisco Italian Heritage Festival and Parade. “While we can’t have the parade in its usual format or take a Summer vacation to Italy this year, we welcome everyone to North Beach and our virtual events to experience the next best way for us to celebrate Italian American culture and our heritage day this year.”
The San Francisco Italian Heritage Festival and Parade is the longest continuously running Italian Heritage Parade in the United States and celebrates the accomplishments and culture of all Italian-Americans. The inaugural parade took place in 1868 in San Francisco’s downtown, featuring the bands and marching units of Italian fraternal organizations, including the Garibaldi Guard, Swiss Guards and Lafayette Guards. Throughout the years, it has remained a sign of the vitality of the Italian communities in the Bay Area.