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Newport’s Italianfest, 31st festival of all festivals, coming up on Riverboat Row; food, live music, fun

Staff report

One of the region’s liveliest and family-oriented festivals — Newport’s 31st Italianfest — starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, June 11th on Riverboat Row, directly below Newport on the Levee.

The festival is fee to attend and is open to the public.

It all began in the fall of 1991 when then-Mayor Thomas Guidugli and Commissioner Jerry Peluso recognized a need in the community for a family-oriented event celebrating the regions rich cultural history and the pride that Newport citizens have for their community. That vision has become the reality of Newport’s Italianfest.

And a good time is had by all.

Celebrate Newport’s Italian Heritage with food, drink, live music and history as live Italian music will enliven the riverfront and will be performs by entertainers form around the nation — and from “the old country>”

Elite performers for the whole weekend include the Pete Wagner Big Band with vocalist Nancy James, the Four C Notes, Moreno Fruzzetti, Louis Prima Jr., and the Witnesses as well as local favorites Vinyl Countdown, Joey Said No, and the Naked Karate Girls.

Newport Italian Festival has evolved from a modest event with only five food vendors and 5,000 visitors into one of the region’s largest and most popular festivals. It will be held on Riverboat Row between the Taylor-Southgate and the Purple People Bridges (below Newport on the Levee/Aquarium).

An Italian Festival with authentic Italian food, vendors will include local restaurants such as Alfio’s, Pompillos, Gabby’s Cafe, Paganos, Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria-Newport and many more.

Everyone can stop by and grab a bite to eat from one of their favorite local Italian Restaurants.

Guests will enjoy many internationally recognized Italian and other local musicians while taking in the sites along Newport’s riverfront. Many of the area’s most popular Italian restaurants and vendors provide authentic Italian cuisine and the children are entertained with all-day inflatables, water slides, and games. One of the most popular aspects of the event is the display of historic photographs of the Italian families who settled in our community.

2023 Newport Italianfest Entertainment Schedule:


5-6:30 p.m.- Pete Wagner Band
6:30-7 p.m.- Opening Ceremony
7-7:30 p.m. – Honored Italian-American Sons and Daughters Award
7:30-8:30 p.m. – Moreno Fruzzetti
9-11 p. .m- Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses


5-7 p.m.- Pete Wagner Band
7-8 p.m.- Moreno Fruzzetti
8-8:45 p.m.- Pete Wagner Band
9-11 p.m.- Four C Notes


12-12:45 p.m.- Pete Wagner Band
12:45- 1:45 p.m.- Moreno Fruzzetti
2-4 p.m.- Four C Notes
4-5 p.m.- Moreno Fruzzetti
5:30- 8:30 p.m.- Vinyl Countdown
9-11 p.m.- Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses


12-1:30 p.m.- Pete Wagner Band
1:30-2:30 p.m.- Moreno Fruzzetti
3-5:30 p.m.- Joey Said No
6-9 pm- Naked Karate Girls

Visit Italianfest website for more details and see its Facebook page.

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