CLEVELAND — Cleveland's Little Italy has remained nestled at the core of the city's cultural focal point. But it's the anchor of that neighborhood that keeps its residents rooted and visitors returning for more.

The parish of the Holy Rosary has played host to the annual Feast of the Assumption for 121 years. The event centers around Aug. 15, a Catholic holy day that commemorates Mary being taken into heaven.

Now, visitors pack Mayfield Road for four days of festivities, exploring the iconic neighborhood, sampling food from its famous restaurants and displaying pride in their Italian heritage.

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Vendors also line the streets, carnival rides keep kids entertained and a shrine in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary can be found outside the church for worship.

A procession kicks off the festivities Aug. 15 following a 10 a.m. Solemn Mass.

Here's everything you need to know before you head to the Feast.

Feast hours:

  • Thursday: 12-11 p.m.
  • Friday: 6 p.m. to midnight
  • Saturday: Noon to midnight
  • Sunday: 12-11 p.m.

Mass times:

  • Thursday: 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 12:15 p.m.
  • Saturday: 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 8 p.m. 

Procession time and route:

The procession began around 11:15 a.m. as an extension of prayer during Thursday's 10 a.m. Mass. 

Watch it again below:

Cavatelli Dinner:

Holy Rosary hosts a Cavatelli Dinner following the Thursday procession from 12-3:30 p.m in the hall of the church. Adults are $8 and children are $5.

Closing procession:

The Feast ends will a closing procession Sunday directly following the 8 p.m. Mass. The route begins outside the church at 9:30 p.m. and continues up Mayfield Road to E. 123rd Street, returning down Mayfield Road to the church. A prayer service will follow.

A fireworks show will wrap up the weekend Sunday at 10 p.m. at Tony Brush Park, 12002 Mayfield Road.

Eat: 

Street vendors will sell roasted nuts, kettle corn, artichokes, lemonade, frozen yogurt, elephant ears, clams, funnel cakes and more throughout the neighborhood.

Holy Rosary will host stands on its grounds to benefit the church. In addition to carnivals rides, visitors will find a variety of food, such as cavatelli, meatballs, sandwiches, pizza, tiramisu, Italian ice, soda, beer, wine and prosecco. A dolceria and cafe will serve espresso, cappuccino, lattes and Italian baked goods.

The following restaurants and businesses are expected to have stands during the Feast, offering food for visitors:

  • Corbo’s Bakery
  • Guarino’s Restaurant
  • Kiss of the Hands
  • La Dolce Vita
  • Maxi’s
  • Mayfield Smoke Shop
  • Mia Bella
  • Murray Hill Market
  • Nido Italia Ristorante
  • Presti’s Bakery
  • Ray's Catering
  • Tavern of Little Italy
  • Trattoria

Transportation:

Parking will be scarce during the Feast, so consider taking the RTA. The Little Italy Rapid stop spills out right onto Mayfield Road near the Holy Rosary church.

A parking lot sits between the RTA Rapid stop and Holy Rosary, but prepare to pay -- and download an app.

Click here for a parking map of the neighborhood, but note that some areas may be closed off.

Mayfield Road will be closed during Feast hours.

Lyft is also offering 20% off two rides to and from the Feast during the weekend. Riders should use the code "FEASTCLE" for the discount through 11 p.m. Sunday.

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