Festa Italiana and the approaching Columbus Day holiday is the time to repeat the commitment I made one year ago: The center of the circle will remain the site of a permanent tribute to local Italian American heritage. The future design, theme and message will be created with the input of Italian Americans from Syracuse. A volunteer task force has already begun this work and will ensure it better represents the local Italian American story.
The circle will be a key part of a new Heritage Park, which will be a safe and welcoming place for all in our community. The area is envisioned to become a larger heritage and education site that celebrates the contributions of our richly diverse communities and their resilience to oppression. A Heritage Park Advisory Commission comprised of members of the Onondaga Nation and people representing Black and Brown Americans, New Americans, Italian Americans and other stakeholders is providing input and guidance.
My appreciation for Syracuse’s Italian American community is deep and genuine. I urge all in our community to join the celebration of Italian American culture at Festa Italiana. Enjoy great food and entertainment and the welcome of warm and loving members of a community that deserves our admiration and respect.Mayor Ben Walsh, Syracuse.com, 9/16/2021