NILES -The annual Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festival is celebrating its 80th year of Italian food, rides, games and nightly entertainment.
The festival will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on the church grounds, 381 Robbins Ave.
Joe Merlo, festival chairman, said the event is a major fundraiser for the church and gets the majority of the parish congregation involved.
The festival is especially known for its cheese puffs, twists, covatelli, pizza and sausage sandwiches, he said. New additions this year are a bocce tournament, wine tasting contest, and Aut Mori clowns, he said.
Merlo said Father John Lavelle, pastor of the church, had started a year ago at Our Lady of Mount Carmel when the 2012 festival was being held. He said Lavelle was excited for this year's event.
On Saturday, the annual procession with the Statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus took place.
The festival schedule includes nightly bocce, 5 to 11 p.m. and the wine tasting contest on Sunday. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
Entertainment scheduled includes Rex Taneri 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday; Rocco Monaco 7:30 to 11 p.m. Thursday; Sam Tonelli 6 to 11 p.m., Friday; Jim Frank Trio 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday; and Rocky Mitolo 4 to 5:30 p.m., Aut Mori clowns 6 to 9 pm. and Frank Gallo 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is free with parking available near the festival.