117th Annual FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION underway - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

117th Annual FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION underway

Reporter Jen Picciano helps prepare sauce just days ahead of the Feast. (Source: WOIO) Reporter Jen Picciano helps prepare sauce just days ahead of the Feast. (Source: WOIO)
Selling cavatelli at this year's event is Holy Rosary Church's only fundraiser. (Source: WOIO) Selling cavatelli at this year's event is Holy Rosary Church's only fundraiser. (Source: WOIO)
Every staff member at Guarino's works every shift during the Feast. (Source: WOIO) Every staff member at Guarino's works every shift during the Feast. (Source: WOIO)

Kitchens in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood are humming and busting at the seams with food being prepped for the 117th Feast of the Assumption.

"A couple hundred thousand people come through the neighborhood. To us, it's booming business and also a way to showcase our restaurant," said Scott Phillips, general manager of Guarino's.

117th Annual FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION information

To capitalize on the crowd and attract new customers, the dining room and patio at Guarino's remain open during the Feast and in the days following.

Stressed out chefs say tempers run high because the stakes are high.

"There's a lot of restaurants. And to be 100 years old and try and make a first impression, and try to ale a lasting impression...it's a lot of pressure," said Rachel Geraci.

For everyone in the neighborhood, the event is a big boost in capital.

"Meatballs are money, sauce is money, cavatelli is money. We will have it here and out front, along with sandwiches. It's fun. The kids work hard, tons of hours," said Phillips.

Every member of their staff works every shift.

At Holy Rosary Church, they make 250 gallons of sauce -- Father Joe Previte's own recipe. They expect to sell more than 1,800 pounds of cavatelli. Actually, they're counting on it, because this is their only fundraiser of the year. 

"Everything that takes place on the church grounds, that money is used for Catholic education, for children that need extra help, to provide them the Catholic education that they'd like, and also, to keep the upkeep of the church that started in the 1800s. So there is plenty to do with that money," said Parishioner Tina Paulson.

The event runs Thursday through Sunday and commemorates the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Find a complete schedule of events here.

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