What it means to be Italian (21 Italian Festa photos)Monday, July 16, 2012 by: Connie Carello
73-year-old President of the Marconi, Tony Celli, alongside with many volunteers, was happy to organize this year’s 32nd annual Italian Festival.
For over three decades, the festival has been a tradition for Italian residents in the Algoma area to celebrate their culture, language, food, and traditions.
To celebrate the green, white, and red, nearly 4,000 local residents attended the event throughout the day.
Immigrating to a foreign land with uncertainty looming in the distance, Italian citizens packed up their lives to try to make a better one for their children and their future generations.
“It really is an opportunity for the younger generation to be proud of their heritage, to recognize the efforts their grandparents and parents made to move to an unknown country, overcoming a language barrier, and working hard at to provide a better future for them,” said Celli (shown on the left).
“It is my hope that we can promote our culture, to honour our four fathers who a hundred years ago started a small group here in Sault Ste. Marie, to carry on the traditions of the Italian people to pass onto their children, even though so far away from their home country.”
With a sausage stand from Pino’s, a dinner hall serving pasta and meatballs, an outdoor picnic area for patrons to enjoy their pizza, porketta sandwich, veal on a bun, and gelato, all while serenaded by two well-known Italian singers Armando Pulente and Fabio Trioli, the festival shed light on the delights of an enriched culture.
This year the Marconi Society celebrates their 100th anniversary alongside of Sault Ste. Marie making this year’s festival that much more meaningful.
“We want to create a fun atmosphere of enjoyment, with good music and good friendship,” Celli said. “We hope that by doing so, the younger generation will want to become more involved and hopefully be willing to carry on these types of cultural activities.”
To celebrate the Marconi as invited a famous three-tenor group known as “Il Volo,” to perform at Essar on August 10.
“It is fantastic that the group has agreed to come to Sault Ste. Marie. They have never played in a location with less than a million people. We could not be happier that they are willing to share our anniversary with us, even though we are a smaller community,” Celli said.
To become a member of the Marconi, men can join the men’s club for $48 and participate in a wide array of activities which includes a golf tournament.
Women can also become involved with the Electra Marconi Society for $25 which includes invitations to several events throughout the year.
“It is important that the younger generation gets involved,” Celli said with a smile. “It is rewarding to see them take interest in their heritage and that they are a capable age of carrying on our traditions, and hopefully they will stick with it.”
Over the course of the day, the event saw many happy faces eating sausages, entering a spaghetti eating contest, watching a magician, and clapping along to well-known Italian songs, and enjoying face painting.