Keeping forefathers' dreams alive. Porchetta and pasta tooWednesday, July 11, 2012 by: Jordan Allard
Reflecting on a century since their establishment, Marconi Club president Tony Celli is looking to the club's annual Italian Festival to do more than just showcase the food, music and culture of the place where many Sault Ste. Marie residents immigrated from.
With the generation born in the old country aging, Celli (shown in the Marconi Club kitchen during the Italian Festival in 2010) knows he will soon need to pass the ball to younger counterparts in the ever-so-nearing future.
"Eventually, they are hopefully going to carry on our traditions," said Celli. "We need to make sure that happens. That's why we're looking for younger members, especially second and third generation Italians."
Eying this weekend's Italian festival as an opportunity to ensure our community's youth move forward with the traditions of their elders, Celli stressed the importance of young Italian's learning their cultural ways and traditions immediately, while those born in 'la bella Italia' are still around.
"It's important for us to promote our traditions and who better to pass on the knowledge than the generation born in Italy," said Celli. "The festival is the best way for us to showcase our heritage and dreams of our forefathers."
Celli wants to carry on the traditions of those from Italy who ventured north and established the Guglielmo Marconi Italian Mutual Benefit Society 100 years ago.
Membership in the club costs $48 annually and includes monthly activities for members like bocce tournaments, holiday banquets and celebration dinners for different regions of Italy showcasing the food and culture of that particular province.
Celli reports membership is approaching 1,000 and was pleased to add 47 youth members joined in the past year.
"We welcome everyone to come and enjoy our club," said Celli, who encourages non-Italians to join the club as well.
In honour of the centennial anniversary of not only the Marconi Club - but of our city - Celli said special events have been planned.
Along with the 31st annual Italian Festival on Sunday, the club is putting on a concert featuring musical talent traveling to the Sault all the way from Italy.
Il Volo, a trio of teen Italian opera singers, will be coming to town on August 10 for a concert at the Essar Centre.
"Getting them to come here was not easy," said Celli. "They're very popular and I can promise we weren't the only city interested in them."
Celli said the three teens - featured on the finale of the hit television series 'Entourage' - will be kicking off their North American tour in the Sault.
He added it was an expensive venture for the club to attract Il Volo to town and tickets are still available at the at the Essar Centre box office.
As for the festival, Celli said locals will be treated to the food, games, and music they've come to expect.
"All the food is prepared by the wonderful ladies at the Marconi Club," said Celli, who'se run the event for the past 16 years.
Along with games for children and music throughout the day, activities also include a pasta and watermelon eating contest.
For those looking to savor their food at a slower pace, different types of pastas and veal/porchetta sandwiches will be available to "mangia" before a spaghetti and ravioli dinner begins in the evening.
The festival runs from noon to 11 p.m. on Sunday at the Marconi Club grounds on Albert Street West.
The full text of a release from the club follows.
The Marconi Club is hosting its annual Italian Festival this Sunday July 15th from 1 to 11 p.m. at the club grounds, 450 Albert Street West.
Food and refreshments will be served all day with a ravioli dinner available from 4 to 7 p.m.
The festival also includes music and entertainment all day as well as activities for children.
A new event this year is a guided bicycle tour of the John Rowswell Hub Trail.
Participants can choose to ride through a portion or the entire trail. All you need is a bike.
The ride begins from the Marconi Club at 10 a.m.
Come celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary and enjoy a taste of our Bell’Italia.
A reminder that tickets are on sale for the club’s highlight event of the 100th anniversary celebration; a concert featuring teenage tenor sensations, IL VOLO, performing live at the Essar Centre on Friday August 10 at 8 p.m.
For more information, contact the Marconi Club, 705-942-5556 or visit our website, www.gmarconisociety.com