New Orleans-The Italian American Marching Club motto is Pride in Our Heritage. The organization exist to Keep Italian Heritage Alive in New Orleans. The group held a Pre-St. Joseph’s Day Pasta Party on Friday, March 18, 2016 at the Hilton Riverside Hotel.
One of the Grand Ballrooms was festively decorated for the occasion. Several hundred people were in attendance for this annual event, the world’s largest pasta dish, a huge bowl of Pasta Con Sardi, a traditional St. Joseph’s Day Feast Day meatless dish.
The task of preparing this magnificent dish went to Dave Greco owner of Mike’s Deli and Arthur Avenue Caterers, located in the real Little Italy in the Bronx. The pasta presentation consisted of a record amount of pasta, 500 lbs. with 150 gallons of Sardia Sauce, prepared with fresh fennel, pignoli nuts, golden raisins, sardine paste and fresh sardines, topped with Mudigah (traditional toasted bread crumbs and sugar mixture).
The parade of food and food service commenced with the announcement “Bring on the Pasta.” The crowd was served by celebrities. The serving line consisted of Dave Greco, Board members of the Italian American Marching Club, 2016 Queen Kaylie Badalamente Catoire Hyde, Joseph Siravo- “Johnny Boy” Soprano, father of Tony Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos, John N. Ferrucci, actor Michael Badalucco, actor Joe Piscopo, John M. Viola, Joseph Zolfo-Producer, CBS Hit crime drama NCIS New Orleans, and Bryan Bondio to name a few. Actor Chazz Palminteri was also present to premiere his signature line of Sicilian Vodka-BIVI
Singer/songwriter Lena Prima the youngest daughter of the late great Louis Prima provided entertainment while guest consumed pasta dishes. Lena Prima and her band’s crowd pleasing set consisted of the tunes “Pennies from Heaven,” “Jump Jive and Wail,” “Che La Luna,” “Felicia No Capicia,” “Just a Gigolo,” “Angelina/Zooma Zooma.”
The program concluded in true traditional New Orleans fashion with a second line around the perimeter of the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Riverside Hotel.
Saturday, March 19th, the Italian American Marching Club paraded through the French Quarter, from Canal and Chartess Street at 6:00PM. March 19th marks the Catholic celebration of St. Joseph’s Day where Catholic New Orleans construct elaborate alters in honor of this Saint. The tradition, commemorating the relief St. Joseph provided during a famine in Sicily, began in the late 1800’s, when Sicilian immigrants settled into New Orleans.