By MERI R. KENNEDY St. Mary's Feast, a tradition with ties dating back to the ninth century in the Italian village of Itri, is a cherished part of Cranston's culture and heritage. Due to the pandemic, this year's celebration figures to be significantly
St. Mary’s Feast, a tradition with ties dating back to the ninth century in the Italian village of Itri, is a cherished part of Cranston’s culture and heritage.
Due to the pandemic, this year’s celebration figures to be significantly scaled back from its usual festival atmosphere of rides, games, musical entertainment, food vendors and more. But that isn’t stopping organizers from getting in the spirit of the event or making plans for some smaller festivities.
Organizers are planning a limited procession after the 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, July 19, and also intend to offer food to go from the St. Mary’s Feast Society headquarters at 15 Phenix Ave. during the feast weekend of July 16-19.
There will be no carnival attractions this year, while the Masses will be livestreamed over Facebook. The procession will feature only the Blessed Mother and will not be able to stop or have people approach.
This year marks the 115th edition of St. Mary’s Feast, and over the weekend members of the society put up flags and decorations along the traditional parade route in Knightsville.
“The flags and decorations along the route are a symbol of hope and comfort as we navigate the times of COVID together,” said Ward 5 City Councilman Chris Paplauskas, who took part in the weekend’s activities. “And together through that community spirit we will overcome it and be there for our neighbors and friends as we honor over 115 years of Knightsville tradition.”
“The Feast society has over 115 years of traditions celebrating our blessed mother here in Knightsville. Even in these trying times we are going to do our best to carry them on following all of the guidelines set by the state,” said Matthew Volpi, president of the St. Mary’s Feast Society.
Organizers have also set up a GoFundMe campaign, titled “115th Annual St. Mary’s Feast 2020,” to help offset the costs of the scaled-back festivities. As of Monday, it had raised $360 of its $2,500 goal.