CLINTON, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV – The 58th annual Little Italy is taking place this weekend in Clinton.

This historic festival spotlights the deeply rooted Italian heritage that is in Clinton. Everywhere you walk there are things that remind people of Italy.

2022 mustache competition winner, Steve Bales, is a lifelong participant and he talks about one of the oldest traditions at this festival.

“A lot of involvement. The kids are outstanding. The coaching and all the participants do an outstanding job. I like to come and check that out every year.”

The tradition he is referring to are the dance routines performed by the youth of the community. These kids prepare for months to get ready for this festival.

One of these dancers is the 2023 Queen of Grapes, Hannah Helt, and she talks about what this event means to herself and the community.

“It’s a huge reunion. A lot of people come back home for it. It means that we get to celebrate as a family. It is really great for our community because we can all come together and have this big celebration.”

This festival’s foundation is the tradition that it has in the community. This stems from many generations of families participating in it to make it what it is today.

Jennifer Smith is the vice president of the LIFT board, and she expresses her love for what the youth are doing to keep this festival going.

“That is truly one of the things I enjoy doing the most, to work with the young people. That’s what makes it special to me. To see the young people coming up in our community that want to see this continue and watch it grow.”

The Little Italy Festival wraps up on Monday with a firework show at sunset.