CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – We’ve brought you coverage of our local festival for some time now, but Sept. 4 is the final day for the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival.

Many were in attendance while Mass was held on the main stage, which started at 10 a.m. The Italian-American woman of the year, Rachel Romano, was the first to read. Regina Maria the 43rd, Marissa Maria Bailey, lead as the cantor for the psalm.

The Regina Maria of the festival made her way to the stage for the morning Mass.

Rosalyn Queen has served as the executive director of the festival for 25 years. Queen said she was surprised with the success of the festival as a whole after years off due to COVID-19.

“When you think of holidays, Christmas, Easter, those are all religious holidays, they come from the church. So we’ve all been raised up from the time we were born and baptized to be a part of the church, and to know how important religion is in our life. So, we want to thank God for our culture and our heritage, and so that’s why the mass is such an important part of the festival,” said Queen.

According to Queen, the opening ceremony and coronation gathered one of the largest crowds the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival has ever had.