Hundreds gathered in Juniper Valley Park on Saturday, June 4, to celebrate the Italian national holiday, Republic Day, during the annual festival hosted by the Federation of Italo-Americana of Brooklyn and Queens.
There was music, food and entertainment for all the guests at the Italian heritage festival in Middle Village. Christ the King marching band, cheerleaders and chorus came out to perform as well. Food included traditional Italian favorites, like sausage and peppers, arancini and cannolis.
The festival honors the Festa della Repubblica, which celebrates the day the Italian people voted for the Republic government put into place after World War II and the fall of fascism.
“It was a beautiful day. We celebrated and wished well the Republic of Italy,” said organizer Tony Mule. “Children came out and enjoyed the day. And after what happened in Texas, we needed to be free, go outdoors and enjoy life.”
Local elected officials like Councilman Robert Holden and state Senator Joe Addabbo showed their support of the holiday alongside their Italian constituents.
“I was proud to co-sponsor this weekend’s Italian Heritage Festival in Juniper Valley Park,” Holden said. “I’ve always been very proud of my own Italian heritage and the vital role played by our vibrant Italian-American community in our district and throughout the city.”
Addabbo said that as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, these kinds of events are extremely important to return to normal life.
“That is exactly what I witnessed this past weekend in Juniper Park as the Federazione Italo-Americana and other vendors hosted an Italian festival, focusing on the positive influences of the Italian culture and bringing people together for a good time,” Addabbo said. “What could be better than Italian food and music on a beautiful Saturday. As a proud Italian-American, my thanks to the Federazione Italo Americana and all other organizers for hosting this cultural event and allowing our residents to have a good time together once again.”