The Watkins Glen Italian American Festival, Inc. was founded by a small group of Italian Americans residing in Watkins Glen to honor the Feast of the Assumption, which occurs each August. To celebrate, a procession of men carried the Virgin Mary on their shoulders through the streets of the village, ending in Lafayette Park. Over the years, the celebration grew and the location had to be changed to Clute Park. It is now a two-day event that attracts more than 50,000 visitors to the village of Watkins Glen. The Watkins Glen Italian American Festival, Inc. is a 501c3 corporation operated by a volunteer staff of officers and committee members, who donate their time, energy, and labor twelve months of the year to prepare for the annual event. In addition to the festival staff, approximately fifty volunteers help on the festival weekend. Our goal is to provide a fun-filled family atmosphere, and the Festival become a traditional gathering spot for thousands who return each year. We strive to provide something for everyone to enjoy.