Our Lady of Grace Feast — Sept. 8

The annual Italian Feast and Festival kicks off tonight at 5 p.m.

Church opens its 2011 Italian Feast and Festival honoring the Madonna Della DiFesa this afternoon at 5 p.m. in the "festival field" on Sherman Avenue behind the church.

This marks the 103rd year since the founding of the feast society, named for the hilltop in Italy where, according to legend, four men who had seen the Virgin Mary in a dream later met each other on the hilltop and discovered skeletons, the remains of a chapel, an altar, and a marble inscription — as they had been promised in their dream.

Here are the details for the Our Lady of Grace Italian Feast and Festival's opening night, Sept. 8:

Where: Our Lady of Grace Church, 4 Lafayette St. (off George Waterman Road)

When: 5 to 10 p.m.

Parking: A free parking lot is available across the street from the church; parking available along George Waterman Road.

Tickets: All rides and food require tickets, available for purchase under the main tent. Food tickets are 50 cents each; book of 20 tickets is $10.

Ride Ticket Deal: From 5 to 8 p.m. tonight, strips of 24 ride tickets will be available for $15 (regular $24), and can be used all weekend.

Note: Cash only. No credit or debit cards accepted.

 Need cash on the way to the feast? See map for nearest banks and ATMs.

Food: Tonight's featured dishes are tripe and soffrito.

Entertainment: DJ Gary Salzillo takes the stage to spin the hits from 7 to 10 p.m. Rides for children and adults and games of skill are located to the rear of the church.

Raffles: Take your chance at the straw raffle, check out the "Prizes Galore" table, and be sure to visit the Grand Raffle booth and buy a $50 ticket for five chances to win up to $5,000 in cash.

Watch JohnstonPatch for daily listings of performers, ticket deals, and attractions through the weekend of the Our Lady of Grace Italian Feast and Festival.


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