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Italian-American Culture To Be Honored In Tuckahoe

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – The Columbus Day Committee of Eastchester-Tuckahoe is hosting its annual Columbus Day-St. Pio Festival during the weekend of Sept. 21 at Depot Square in Tuckahoe.

This year’s event will pay a special tribute to St. Pio of Pietrelcina, in recognition of the 125th anniversary of his birth and the 10th year since his canonization.

The festival will begin with a Mass in Italian at the Assumption Church at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by a procession of St. Pio to Depot Square. The closing march will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday, from Depot Square back to the church for prayer and benediction.

On Friday and Saturday, the festival will take place from 5 to 11 p.m., and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. The festival will feature food, vendors and music celebrating Italian-American culture.

Along with the Mass and procession through the streets of Tuckahoe, this year’s feast will spotlight the St. Pio exhibit, hosted by the Westchester Italian Cultural Center at the Generoso Pope Foundation building. “Il Cammino di Padre Pio” documents the life of the saint through photographs by Elia Stelluto, an altar boy who would become his personal photographer.

As part of the festival, the Columbus Day Committee will honor two families that are prominent in the community. The Man of the Year award will be presented to attorney John J. Pappalardo and his son, John D. Pappalardo. The DiPippo family, whose sixth generation still lives in Eastchester, will be awarded the organization’s Family Legacy tribute.

Anthony Pope, president of the Generoso Pope Foundation, will present Eastchester High School senior Jessica Gulotta a $10,000 scholarship for her commitment to the Italian culture and language, in addition to her academic and extracurricular achievements.

“Italian-Americans have made so many contributions to our nation,” Pope said. “The committee and I find it fitting to honor, on a local level, these two families that have contributed so much to the community.”

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