Begun in 2004, the Italian Street Festival is a nonprofit event that strives to promote awareness of Italian culture and heritage. A suggested donation of $5 is collected at the entrance. Each year, the donations go to organizations in the Richmond area. This year, donations will benefit Slow Food RVA, an organization whose mission is to assist greater Richmond in connecting with local, sustainable food production, and the Italian Studies Program at VCU in the form of financial assistance to students studying Italian culture and language.
To go with the musical entertainment and street vendors, the festival provides a children’s activity area at no additional charge. “This year, the kids’ area will have animals from the Richmond SPCA for kids to pet, a magician and face painting. We are also going to have an appearance by Nutzy from the Flying Squirrels,” Blanchard says. The children's area also features a bouncy castle, games, and arts and crafts.
Blanchard says she hopes that the festival will help to highlight the contributions Italians have made in Richmond.