The Italian Festival began in 1976 in Rundle Mall. A parade travelled from Victoria Square to Elder Park before the celebrations in the Mall. The Italian Festival became through a natural progression the Carnevale in Adelaide and in 2015 we celebrate 40 years of Italian Festivals. In 2016 we celebrated our BIG 40th ANNIVERSARY! The festival has had a number of homes in Adelaide in its history. It has been staged in Rundle Mall, Elder Park, Norwood and Adelaide Ovals, Rymill Park and its present location is the Adelaide Showground.
Over the years the festival has been a fun way of celebrating Italian culture, history and multiculturalism. It has been a means of inspiring young people to embrace their Italian heritage and for the wider community to experience Italian culture. Many South Australian Italo-Australian clubs and associations have always participated in the festival by either catering or showcasing their region at the event.
As well as a celebration of Italian culture, the festival is a fundraising event, which raises funds to cater for welfare needs of the elderly in the community through the Co-ordinating Italian Committee (CIC). The Italian Festival also supports other worthy charities and community organisations through their involvement in the major lottery and their participation in the event.