Festival of Saint Rocco: Cleveland's Labor Day tradition continues

CLEVELAND - A long standing holiday tradition continues in Cleveland this Labor Day weekend.

The 98 th annual Festival of St. Rocco kicks off Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 6 p.m.

The parish carnival honors and celebrates its patron saint by focusing on faith, family, fun and endless amounts of homemade Italian food.

Parishioners, many of whom are from Italy, cook up savory sausage sandwiches, mounds of meatballs, pounds of pasta, endless trays of lasagna and much more.

Volunteers transform the old cafeteria into an Italian restaurant known as The Villa. Students and alumni from St. Rocco School serve as waiters, waitresses and bus boys.

Plenty of decadent Italian desserts are available too, including zeppole (fried dough), lemon ice and cannoli.

Carnival rides, games and the casino (located in the gym) are open through Monday, September 3, 2012.

One of the main attractions is the Greasy Pole Climb. Roughly a dozen teams of five people compete to make their way to the top of a grease-covered telephone pole in the church parking lot. The first team to touch the flag at the top wins a $1,000 prize. This year's competition kicks off on Monday, September 3, 2012 at 2 p.m.

The festival is free. The funds raised benefit St. Rocco School.

For hours and more information visit http://stroccocleveland.org/festival-2011.html

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