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Canton Italian American Fest focusing on great food and the next generation

Italian Fest
Posted at 4:43 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 19:07:06-04

CANTON, Ohio — The 34th annual Italian American Festival in Canton this weekend has delicious food and fun while focusing on the next generation.

Margaret, Duane, Courtney and Nick Storey make up three generations of Italian American Festival volunteers.

“This is probably my 29th maybe 30th year, and I started because my dad, who was an active volunteer here, brought us out,” said Margaret Storey, the vice president of the Italian American Festival.

The Italian American Festival has been a Stark County staple for more than 30 years, celebrating Italian heritage with delicious food, games, music and more. The best part is proceeds go to a good cause.

“Over the years, we have awarded out over $240,000 in scholarships,” said Margaret.

Those scholarships are given to Italian American students in Stark County, and two former recipients are Courtney and Nick Storey.

“It was so worth it. It helped me come out of undergrad debt-free,” said Courtney.

“Anything will definitely help; it’s an honor to receive the award,” said Nick.

So for over thirty years, the family continues to pay it forward.

“There are two things you can give. You can give money and give time, and our time is the hardest thing to give,” said Margaret.

Not just for this generation, but for the next.

“Gosh, I want them to see that this is more than coming in and doing rides. There's a reason we do this and the reason is our young people,” said Margaret.

All while celebrating their heritage and making memories, even if you aren't Italian.

“Here on these grounds, everybody that comes through is family for that weekend, they're Italian, we add a vowel to the last name,” said Margaret.

The Festival is Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Weis Park in Canton.

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