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 An Italian Circle Dance forms during a previous Festa Italiana.

An Italian Circle Dance forms during a previous Festa Italiana.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Italian, German festivals promise taste of Europe

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 27, 2019

 Attendees at a previous Germanfest tap a keg. The festival promises German beer and local brews.

Attendees at a previous Germanfest tap a keg. The festival promises German beer and local brews.

Photo provided by the Carpathia Club


STERLING HEIGHTS — Lovers of Italian or German culture and cuisine will be in luck this month as festival organizers host events in Sterling Heights.

The Italian American Chamber of Commerce of Michigan is bringing Festa Italiana back to Freedom Hill County Park July 12-14. Festival organizer Joe Ventimiglia said the event will have fireworks again this year, which are sponsored by Alfa Romeo of Lakeside. An assortment of food vendors at the event are expected to serve up Italian dishes.

“It’s one of the largest ethnic events that goes on in Macomb County,” Ventimiglia said. “Everyone comes together to eat food, have great wine and drinks, and (see) great entertainment.”

According to Ventimiglia, a family fun zone will amuse kids, who will have a range of activity options, such as a petting zoo, a bounce house, a rock wall, a zip line and pony rides.

Also returning to the festival are the meatball contest and the cannoli eating contest. Other events include a beautiful baby contest and a singing competition.

Ventimiglia said the festival will offer new live entertainment acts this year.

“We’re going to have The Scintas,” he said. “And then we’re having a new young man by the name of Austin Giorgio … from ‘The Voice.’ He’s coming in this year.”

Days later, another ethnic festival will open in Sterling Heights when the Carpathia Club holds its Germanfest July 19-21.

Carpathia Club member Monica Forest called the event authentic and said the food comes from homemade recipes. Germanfest promises German cuisine such as bratwurst, potato salad and schnitzel on a stick. German beers, as well as locally crafted brews, will also be served.

“It’s a German club: We know beer,” she said.

Forest said the event will also feature activities like a beer stein holding contest and a sauerkraut eating contest. Spectators may also enjoy live entertainment, she added.

Forest said she loves the event’s relaxed atmosphere.

“It’s a riverside property, but it still has a huge festival tent,” she said. “The vibe of the space is just a chance to hang out with friends and relax.

“Our theme is ‘Eat, drink, sing, laugh,’ because that’s what you do there.”

Germanfest will be at the Carpathia Club, 38000 Utica Road in Sterling Heights, July 19-21. Event hours are 6-11 p.m. Friday, 4-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. General admission costs $5, and minors have free admission. Parking is free. Learn more by visiting or call (586) 978-2292.

Festa Italiana will take place July 12-14 at Freedom Hill County Park, 15000 Metropolitan Parkway, in Sterling Heights. Find out more about event hours and details by visiting