Many years ago, I lived on Murphy Avenue in Endicott. Murphy Avenue is a quiet street surrounded by pizza shops and at the time I lived there, almost all of my neighbors were old world Italian, including Joe who used to toss tomatoes to me over his fence and who would gift me with Panettone each year for Christmas. Sadly Joe and most of my old Italian neighbors have passed away, but their heritage lives on.

Starting this Thursday, August 24th and through Saturday, August 26th, Endicott will pay homage to its wonderful Italian-American heritage with the yearly Gusto Festival. The Gusto festival is a celebration of food, music, family, and friends.

Admission to the family-friendly Gusto festival is totally free. The festivities kick off on Thursday with a free concert on the stage at Little Italy at 6:30 p.m. The Gusto "A Taste of Little Italy" block party will take place on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Witherill Street between Oak Hill Avenue and Hill Avenue. On Saturday, there will be a 6:30 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church as they present 'Mass On The Grass' at the Stage at Little Italy. Mass will be said in English and Italian and you're encouraged to bring a lawn chair if you plan to attend. The festivities will end on Sunday with the Little Italy Endicott Golf Tournament at the links.

Be sure to check out the full schedule of events, and to show up hungry on Friday because there will be so much food!

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