Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival

The Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival is normally held the second weekend in March.

Sicilians in Independence Louisiana trace their history to the 1880s. Much like the New Orleans French Quarter, during the period 1885-1915 thousands of Sicilians migrated to Tangipahoa Parish to the railroad towns of Amite, Hammond, and Ponchatoula. The main crop was strawberries.

The first festival was held in 1972 and named “The Little Italy Festival.” In 2008 the name was changed to the “Sicilian Heritage Festival.” A major factor in the continuity of Sicilian Heritage is the orginal Mater Dolorosa Church, which is now the Italian Cultural Museum. Many artifacts have been donated. The Museum is open during the festival, which annually is the second weekend in March.

The Spaghetti Cook-Off is March 7th, 2020 and begins at 8:00 A.M. @ Festival Square. Set up is @ 7:30 A.M. at 312 E Railroad Ave. Judging at 12:00 P.M. Spaghetti and Gravy(Sauce) must be prepared on location. 

The Parade is March 14th, 2018 with line up @ 9:00 A.M.
The Parade Rolls @ 10:00 A.M. Line up will be behind Independence High School on Marretta St. west on Tiger Ave., cross the railroad tracks, turn right on Pine St. Continue to end of route at Mater Dolorosa Church. For more information contact: [email protected]

Spaghetti Eating Contest is Mar 14, 2020 from 12-12:30pm

Meatball Toss Mar 14, 2020 from 12:30-1pm. Festival queens from around the state compete.

At 12:30pm on the second Saturday of March in Independence, Louisiana festival queens compete in various competitions including spaghetti eating to meatball toss.

11th Annual Miss Pageant ​$1,500.00 Scholarship
Sunday, April 5th, 2020 at Mater Dolorosa School Gym
509 Pine St. Independence, LA 70443

Entry Deadline for Miss Pageant: Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019
Please be advised of the meeting at the Independence City Hall
at 6:00 p.m. on April 3rd,2019
473 W Railroad Ave Independence, La 70443

For More Information:   Email [email protected]


June 27th, 2020
Mater Dolorosa Gym
Independence, La

Libby Rose Director of the Independence Italian & Sicilian Museum with Jeff Scalia
2019 Sicilian Festival Queen Alexa Mashon with other Louisiana Festival Queens

The Independence Sicilian Festival is a great place for shopping for Sicilian items. Lisa Paine(wife of Mayor Elect Jim Paine) and Jeanette Patanella at the Souvenir Booth.
Sicily all the way with Lino Castigilola of New Oleans festival board member Blake Baker, and Jeff Scalia

Lino Castigliola and Jimmy Gregory,City Alderman and Sicilian Board Member.
The Big Band Sound at the Festival

Numerous food vendors make a one of the state’s favorite dining experiences.

The Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival is normally held the second weekend in March. For more information visit the Festival Web Site

For more information on other events in Independence and the Museum visit the Independence Museum Web Site