ROSELLE PARK — This year’s 13th annual St. Anthony’s Italian Feast, held June 6 – 9, was a success in spite of the fickle weather and one washout day according to organizers. It once again transformed the parking lot at the Church of the Assumption in Roselle Park, into a wonderland of rides, games, food, entertainment and, after dark, sparkling lights. It was a great place for the community and visitors to bring family, have fun with friends, and be entertained.
The poor weather on Thursday’s opening night did not dampen the excitement of the children who had been so eager to experience the feast’s fun that they had convinced their parents to attend in spite of on and off light rain all day
For entertainment, Karate World, Kenilworth and Aikido Schools of NJ, Roselle Park put on demonstrations, Jimmy Alleva, the Italian American Tenor sung some great Italian songs, and dancers from Dancers Pointe, Roselle Park and Fusion Dance Center, Kenilworth performed delightful dance routines. There was a poetry reading by Roselle Park’s Poet Laureate Leona M Seufert, and NJ 101.5 Big Yellow Prize Van returned again this year for two hours of fun.
Under the parish food tent, with their blue aprons and white T shirts, parish volunteers served meatball sandwiches, sausage & pepper sandwiches and Italian hot dogs. Another tent held the Rosary and Altar Society’s Café where “home made cookies” that had been baked right in the parish’s own oven, were sold. Vendors provided a variety of traditional Italian foods and other goodies. There was also a beer and wine garden for adults to enjoy. By closing time each day, the place was almost as crowded as Grand Central Terminal.
However, the highlight of the four days came on Sunday when Bishop Manuel A. Cruz, Episcopal Vicar for Union County and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, re-consecrated the parish’s original bell, which is now prominently displayed on the Chiego Place side of the church. The re-consecration ceremony took place after the noon Mass. (Bishop Manuel A. Cruz was the main Celebrant at that Mass). Also at this ceremony the bell was christened “Anthony” in honor of St. Anthony, patron saint of the feast.
Just like last year, Fr. James Spera had officially opened this year’s St. Anthony’s Italian Feast by ringing this bell, a bell that had been lost to the parish for over 56 years.
But what would a “Feast” be in honor of a Roman Catholic saint if there weren’t a statue and a traditional “procession” in his honor? After the re-consecration of the parish’s bell, the 100-year-old statue of St. Anthony that was part of the parish when founded in 1907, was carried in the procession and accompanied with music by the Rick Macri’s La Banda delle Feste Italiane band.
If you missed this year’s St. Anthony’s Italian Feast, or just wanted more, then mark your calendars for Thursday June 5 – Sunday June 8, 2014. Once again Anthony, the bell will ring in four days of faith, fun, family and friends (and food!)
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