FELITTESE ASSOCIATION READIES FESTIVAL
by Maureen Manzano/TRIBUNE REGIONAL STAFF
If you're already missing the taste of
Italian food from last weekend's La Festa Italiana in Scranton, take heart.
There's more buona da mangiare in store.
The Felittese Association of Old Forge
returns this week with its annual festival in honor of Our Lady of
Constantinople, patroness of the town of Felitto, province of Salerno, Italy.
She has been venerated in that town since 1790 and many descendants of Felitto
emigrants now live in Old Forge. The association itself is composed of many of
"I remember it as a child," said Marie
Mordent, who, with her sister Janet and others, helps organize the event.
The festival runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the Chapel grounds, 146 Third St.
The variety of food is a reflection of the
dedication of the small core of volunteers who begin to make much of the food -
and then freeze it - two to three weeks in advance.
"Five of us ladies made 803 pounds of
gnocchi macaroni," Marie Gromada, president of the association, said. "It's all
done by hand."
Mrs. Gromada said the association has been
trying to get more volunteers to help with the effort. "We've been trying to
encourage the younger people to join us," she said.
The last foods to be prepared just
before the start of the festival include 35 pounds of sausage and peppers, along
with porketta. Other foods on the menu include pizza fritta and assorted Italian
desserts and pastries.
Visitors can feast as early as 5 p.m.
Friday and later enjoy the music of the Cadillacs.
Friday's parade begins at 5:30 p.m.,
starting at Old Forge High School. Among the participants are the Old Forge High
School marching band, the Old Forge Fire Department, borough officials and
anyone else who wants to join in.
The grounds open Saturday from 4 to 11
p.m., with entertainment provided by the Continentals. The grounds open at
noon on Sunday; afternoon entertainment will be provided by Sarah Marie and
Joseph, and the Poets will perform at 7:30 p.m.
The final day of the festival takes on a
more traditional-tone Sunday at 11 a.m. when Mass is celebrated by the Very Rev.
Joseph Cipriano, in honor of Our Lady of Constantinople, at St. Mary's Church,
Grace and St. Mary's streets.
From the church, the saint's statue will be
carried through the streets of Old Forge to the chapel in front of the festival
grounds. A Paci band from Pittston leads the procession. When the participants
arrive, Father Cipriano leads the praying of the rosary.
"This is what it's all about," Mrs. Gromada
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