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Events & Festivals

See Angels Fly – Video: Maria SS Lauretana Festival

David Hammond | Sep 5, 200411:28 PM

See Angels Fly – Video: Maria SS Lauretana Festival

Labor Day is the last of the four-day 104th Annual Festival Honoring Maria SS Lauretana Society of Altaville Micilia, formerly in Italy, then in Cabrini Green, now in Berwyn (right behind North Riverside Mall, corner of Harlem and Cermak).

The Wife and I went today to see the “flight of the angels” (want to see it? email me and I’ll bounce you back the clip of two little girls, dressed angelically, suspended by ropes, floating over the shrine and singing…it’s both touching and bizarre). This medieval mise en scene re-enacts the supernatural relocation of St. Mary’s house to Lareto, and it’s performed before a facsimile of a painting, the original of which was stolen by Arabs and divinely relocated to Altaville Micilia (thence, etc.). While at the fest, I ran into an old buddy, Joe Costello, who told me that he, himself, was actually an angel at this festival when it was held somewhere on Mohawk street in the 50s (he was suspended three stories above the street, wearing wings, and he says has pix to prove it).

While at today’s events, we ate some whole fried octopus (the tentacles were good, but I’m not so hot on eating octo-head). The wife enjoyed a “walking taco,” a bag of Fritos filled with chili and jalapenos – not bad for two bucks (it compared well to the same dish I had at Flo’s a few weeks ago). Last night, I had a good pasticiotti (sugar cookie filled with cannoli paste) and some tasty smelt.

For a slice of Italo-Americana, I recommend this fest – it was cool, even for the non-devout (like me) and the non-Italian (like The Wife, an Ostrogoth).

Tomorrow, the Sicilian Marching Band plays from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, and the party continues with “Italian entertainment” until 10:30 PM.


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