St. Thomas prepping for Irish-Italian Festival March 16


A popular Pine Belt-area event returns March 16 when St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Hattiesburg hosts the 18th annual Irish-Italian Festival Saturday, March 16, featuring great food, fantastic music, fellowship, a parade, a raffle for a cash prize of $3,500, and much more.  

The festival’s ‘Roll N’ Stroll’ parade is at 10:30 a.m. and the festival is from 5-10:30 p.m. at the church, following a 4 p.m. Mass. Admission is free to these events, with tickets for food and drink items available for purchase at the entrance.

Local civic organizations, businesses, bands, church and social groups are welcome to participate with decorated trucks, cars, golf carts and other vehicles, as well as walking groups, dance groups - in the “Roll N’ Stroll” parade and entry is free. Lineup for the parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at the parking lot next to Hillcrest Residence Hall, located on the service road by the University of Southern Mississippi campus and Highway 49. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m., proceeding west from the edge of the USM campus toward the church, which is located across from USM’s Reed Green Coliseum. Contact St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church for a registration form and for more information about the Roll and Stroll parade. 601.264.5192 or send an email to

The festival will feature the fantastic sounds of Madewood Street Music beginning at 6:45 pm.  There will also be games for kids, a silent auction and an art show featuring the work of some of the Pine Belt’s best local artists.  The menu for the event includes Irish stew, spaghetti and meatballs, Italian brats, Irish sausage dogs, egg rolls, pizza, cotton candy, hospitality coffee corner, spirits as well as a variety of deserts. Complimentary soft drinks and water will be available.

Tickets for the raffle may be purchased for $10 each from any member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church, or call St. Thomas Aquinas Church at 601.264.5192. For more information about the festival, contact the church at 601.264.5192.