Tangipahoa Parish town celebrates heritage with annual festival

INDEPENDENCE, LA (WAFB) - The Tangipahoa Parish town of Independence is celebrating its history this weekend with the 6th Annual Independence Sicilian Heritage Festival.

The town got its nickname of "Little Italy of Louisiana" because it was on the rail route between New Orleans and Jackson, Mississippi. Many Sicilian immigrants looking for a place to settle were drawn to the area's thriving Strawberry industry.

"This weekend is based on our heritage, we're a very proud community. A lot of Italians have settled here, and we're very proud...what the town of independence has to offer," said a local town patron.

Seventeen teams today competed in a spaghetti cook off.