Time to Get Your Feast On!

When it comes to Christmas Eve and the Feast of the Seven Fishes, everyone is Italian.

If you’re not from here (or Italy), you might be wondering about this community fish feast. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a very old Southern Italian tradition observed on Christmas Eve. Many Italians were and are Catholic; and as the Catholic tradition goes, no meat is to be consumed on holy days.

To honor a past that many Marion Countians are proud of, as a community (prior to the holy days) we get together to remember and live our heritage.

What to know:

  • Free!
  • Dec. 13
  • 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
  • Monroe Street in historic downtown Fairmont

What to expect:Feast4

  • Food and entertainment
  • Cooking demos and cooking classes
  • Shopping and open-air street markets (and heaters)
  • Fish, fish and more fish!
  • Italians (and plenty of Italian hats)
  • Catholic traditions (Mass will be held at Gatherings)

Fun Facts about the Feast of the Seven Fishes:

  • Italians and Italian Americans alike still participate in the tradition with 7, 9, even 13 different kinds of fish and seafood dishes on Christmas Eve.
  • Fairmont’s Feast of the Seven Fishes has been going on for 9 years now!
  • Our festival (not the tradition) is based on a local graphic novel (Feast of the Seven Fishes by Robert Tinnell)

What to do:10734217_10152807380717702_8178659260091778493_n

Festival Cucina Cooking School at the Feast (held in the Jacobs Hutchinson Building at 205 Adams Street – former Friendly Furniture store)

Learn how to make any number of fish dishes that Marion Countians typically enjoy during      the holiday season, plus accompanying recipes so the feast can be recreated at home. So what will you be learning?     Spotlight on…

Chef Shannon Tinnell cooking Cured Salmon

Spotlight on…

Chef Robert Germano cooking Lemon Pepper Pasta with Shrimp Cream Sauce


Find authentic Italian foods, local wines and goodies, plus an artisan holiday market (inside the historic church, The Gatherings)


Italian and Christmas music all day and center stage in the old Fairmont firehouse. Plenty of tables and chairs for good conversation, good eating and easy listening.  Plus those heaters for warmth and glow, and some Christmas lights make for a beautiful ambience.Who’ll be there? Benjamin DeFazio, Vocal Tapestry (inside the Gatherings), Ott and Sam, and many more throughout the Feast Day!

They come for a day filled with authentic Italian seafood cuisine, a holiday event designed to preserve Italian-American customs and foodways. They come for a centuries-old custom of La Vigilia. They come for shopping and music, tradition and culture.

What they get is community!

And food! Still salivating just thinking about it? We’ll keep you hooked.


Leah Nestor

Other dishes will include:

Arancini – Stuffed Rice Balls- Joel Brown

Ricotta and Spinach Pancakes with Speck- MK Ohlinger

Penne with Shrimp and Peas- Lawrence Colaianni

Donna’s Orange Cookies- Shannon Tinnell and Isabella Tinnell

Buon Appetito!

Buon Natale!


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