ATLAS - A taste of Italy will flavor the streets of Atlas Saturday during the first Italian-Tyrolean Festival.

The festival, which will benefit the Atlas Fire Company, begins at 9 a.m. with the blessing of the Statue of St. Anthony at the town park gazebo.

"When you have an Italian festival, the best thing is to pick a patron saint for it, and we went with St. Anthony," volunteer Manda Stepp said.

The festival will also honor the oldest living Italian male and female resident of Atlas during the opening ceremony.

A parade will following the blessing at 10 a.m. wherein four firefighters will carry the statue throughout the streets of Atlas.

Two firefighters will march along side, carrying fire boots to collect donations.

From approximately 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., the public is invited to the fire company's family-oriented festival.

The family affair is being held as a celebration of the rich heritage and traditions of Italian/Tyrolean ancestors passed along through generations.

"We have been working to bring such great, homemade Italian food, to all of the festivalgoers," said Dauna Backey.

Some of the featured dishes will be homemade porketta, deep fried polenta with marinara sauce, along with polenta with brown gravy, luganega and pasta fagoli, to name a few.

There will also be vendors with other food and goodies, theme baskets, raffles, entertainment by DJ Johnny Buick and Coal Cracker Sounds, and activities for children.

Proceeds will benefit the fire company's truck and apparatus fund.