Annual St. Peter’s Italian Street Festival Begins With Road Race


By Carol McCracken

The annual St. Peter’s Italian Street Festival received its yearly kickoff with a road race that began on India Street and followed a four mile course, some of it along the scenic Eastern Promenade and back to India Street. Two hundred and ninety-four runners entered this year’s race held on Friday evening, August 15th. The weather was excellent for the race –  cool and dry.  Awards were given to those winning in specific age categories – the oldest age group was 65 years old and above.

The road race which began twenty-two years ago jumpstarted the Festival which runs on Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16 beginning about 5:00 p.m. and running on into the night. Outstanding food is always a highlight of the Festival. All proceeds go to St. Peter’s Church located at 72 Federal Street.

Former Hill resident Joanne Nappi served as registrar for the race. Her husband, Jim, along with several others was a co-chairman. According to Jim, the road race was begun in 1987 by Joe Discatio, founder and still owner of Joe’s Smoke Shop on Congress Street in downtown Portland. Joe who is now 92 years old did not attend this year’s road race for the first time in its twenty-two year history. Michael Reali is the other co-chair of the event.

Be There (Early) Or Be Hungry!