Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wellsville's 2011 Italian Festival Is One For The Books

Saturday – August 6: Finishing touches were put on the 15th Annual Italian Festival last night in Wellsville. Ma Nature tried to put a damper on the SOI Lodge #657 sponsored festivities with an early evening downpour. She had the crowd scattering for shelter but members of the SOI went smoothly to “Plan B” without missing a beat. Extra tables were set up and the food operation temporarily moved inside as the Lodge doors were opened to welcome the public in out of the rain. With “Sicilian determination” it was decided no stinkin' rain was going to cut the party short! After about a half hour Ma Nature admitted defeat and moved the rain clouds out of the area. It was amazing to see the crowd increase in number even while the chairs were being dried off. Of the three nights for the festival it was the biggest crowd for this years event.

Highlighting the evening was the awarding of two $1,000 scholarships. One went to Andrew Gooding and the second to Cayleigh Crook. Both recipients are graduates in the Classes of 2011. Andrew graduated from East Liverpool High School and Crook is a Wellsville Tiger.

Returning for her second year in a row, Mirella Volpe opened up the evening's entertainment. She was followed by Italian tenor Aaron Caruso and he had all the ladies, young and not so young, listening to every note with googly eyes. He not only has a fantastic voice he's not bad looking either! He even had Pauline Hager traveling all the way from Logan, Ohio to enjoy his show. This is the 13th year that Caruso has appeared at the Wellsville festival. A native of Detroit, he is a close friend of the Joe LaScola family. Putting the night cap on this years festival was the immensely popular local band Route 45. The very entertaining group is based in Wellsville and have a large following from all around the area. Their fans were boot scooting boogying right from the first number. Closing out the annual Wellsville Italian Festival seems to be a Route 45 tradition.

Congratulations to all the Wellsville SOI members for another job well done. Even under very adverse conditions you still threw a whale of a party. We're already looking forward to next year...

ole nib

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