Many years ago, I lived on Murphy Avenue in Endicott. Murphy is a quiet street surrounded by pizza shops and at the time I lived there, most all of my neighbors were old world Italian, including Joe who used to toss tomatoes to me over his fence and who would gift me with Panettone each year for Christmas. Sadly Joe and most of my old Italian neighbors have passed away, but their heritage lives on.

Sadly Joe, his wife, and most of my old Italian neighbors have passed away, but their heritage lives on.

Starting tomorrow, Thursday, August 24th and through Saturday, August 26th, Endicott will pay homage to its Italian-American heritage with the Gusto Festival. The Gusto festival is a celebration of food, music, family, and friends.

Admission to the Gusto festival is totally free. The festivities kick off on Thursday with a free concert on the stage at Little Italy at 7pm. The Gusto "A Taste of Little Italy" block party will take place on Saturday from 5pm-9pm on Witherill Street between Oak Hill Avenue and Hill Avenue. The festivities will conclude on Saturday at 6:30pm at  St. Anthony of Padua Church as they present 'Mass On The Grass' at the Stage at Little Italy. Mass will be said in English and Italian and you're encouraged to bring a lawn chair if you plan to attend.

Be sure to check out the full schedule of events, and to show up hungry on Friday because there will be so much food!