Traditional procession held at Bloomfield’s Little Italy Days
The tradition continued on Sunday.
After an Italian Mass was celebrated at St. Maria Goretti Church in Bloomfield, the statue “The Madonna della Civita” was carried from that worship site to a sister church on Liberty Avenue.
Members of the congregation formed a procession behind men carrying the statue of Madonna and child throughout the 18th annual event of Little Italy Days. It’s an authentic Italian food festival that also featured entertainment, as well as traditional bocce competition held next to The Pleasure Bar.
At the festival, the Magic Moments performed Friday; an Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band took the stage on Saturday. And Let’s Groove Tonight performed Sunday, which also was the date for crowning the title of “Miss Little Italy” for contestants age 4-17.
Booth after booth of vendors were selling gnocchi, stuffed shells, meatballs, sausage and more. Desserts of cannoli, homemade cookies and gelato were aplenty.
As the procession made its way along Liberty Avenue, people placed money on the statue — an oldtime custom — which will be donated to the church.
The cart that the statue was carried on came from Sicily in 1905, according to Tony Ficarri, national commander of the Italian American War Veterans of the United States of America.
The statue represents stories of the history of wars in Sicily and Palermo, Italy, Ficarri said.
“Everyone is Italian this weekend,” said Sal Richetti, who has been producing Little Italy Days nine years. “This festival is a staple in Bloomfield. It keeps Bloomfield alive. The businesses depend on this festival.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .