The Italian Festival, absent from Worcester for several years, is set to return Aug. 21-23 to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel/St. Ann Parish.
Proceeds from the three-day festival will be used to support the parish to pay for renovation and repair of the church, according to Jonelle Garofoli, vice chair of the Italian Festival Committee.
Masses are at 8 and 10 a.m. Aug. 23. Immediately following the 10 a.m. Mass, there is to be a traditional procession with the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which the parish Knights of Columbus are to carry from the church down Shrewsbury Street to East Park and back.
First Communion students are invited to wear their first Communion outfits and confirmation students are also invited, along with everyone else.
An Italian marching band led by Anthony D’Angelo is providing music between decades of the rosary. The procession is to let others know the Catholic Church is still alive and going strong, said Joan D’Argenis, procession coordinator and the parish’s director of religious education.
There will be plenty of Italian food and entertainment during the three days. Restaurants set to take part include Padavano’s Place, Pepe’s Brick Oven, Sweet, Vintage Grille, Madulka’s Ice Cream, Volturno Pizza, Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza, Wholly Cannoli, Mac’s Diner, Boulevard Diner, Cafe Manzi’s and Moe’s. And members of the parish also will cook and bake, she said.
Entertainment, according to committee members and the website, will include singer Joe Cariglia, Mauro DePasquale and a jazz trio, and the Issues, a five-person band on Aug. 21; Chickee’s Dance World, singers Ricky Duran and Marc Turo, The Ambrosiani five-piece Italian band and disc jockeys Vinny Simmarano and Jamie Comforti on Aug. 22, Joe Cariglia and Dale LePage and The Manhattans on Aug. 23.
Also scheduled is a Bocce tournament, a “Kids Zone” and a beer garden sponsored by Peroni beer.
There also will be a marketplace where small businesses and crafters will set up tables. There still is room for businesses and crafters to put in tables for one or three days, Ms. Garofoli said.
Admission is $2 per person. Children younger than 10 years old and seniors will be admitted free.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel/St. Ann Church, fronting on Mulberry Street, was completed in 1928. In 1958 construction began on Interstate Route 290. An elevated portion of that highway is separated by the width of Mulberry Street from the front of the church.
Since the highway construction began, Msgr. F. Stephen Pedone, pastor, said in an interview published in January in The Catholic Free Press, blasting and digging for the highway probably damaged the church. Vibration from heavy trucks and other vehicles over the ensuing years have done more damage, he said.
Msgr. Pedone said last January that temporary repairs would cost from $85,000 to $100,000 and a permanent fix in the future would cost an estimated $500,000 to $1 million.
For more information contact Jonelle Garofoli at 508-340-0749.