Why Do We Have The Italian Festival?
BECAUSE we want to celebrate and honour the wonderful heritage of the many Italians who came to live in this part of America during the coal-mining era of southeastern Oklahoma, and whose descendants help make this area vibrant, strong and fascinating!
BECAUSE every community needs a major civic festival event that brings the many facets of the population together in a worthwhile project. This type of bigger-than-life-sized project can bring people and groups together for a greater good and make the community better for everyone. The entire area benefits from the thousands of Festival-goers who come to McAlester from all over Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and usually a half-dozen other states - some for just a few hours or a day, many who spend one night or the whole weekend in McAlester.
BECAUSE so much good can be accomplished with the money generated by the annual Festival, through the good offices of the local charities and service organizations which receive our contributions - people can be helped, lives can be rescued, the community can be a better place to live and work and raise families in the heartland of America - exactly those things that brought those brave and bold Italians all the way to this area 70-100 years ago.
BECAUSE it is FUN! The fellowship of honest hard work, the friendships, the interpersonal bonds, the partnership of so many varied individuals and groups and personalities is sound evidence of what could be in our modern society and stands as a bright contrast to the problems and social plagues that make watching the television news or reading the newspaper a sometimes discouraging and dispiriting effort all too often.