by Michael Blandina
SEASIDE HEIGHTS-The Ocean County Columbus Day Parade Committee is pleased to announce that the special guest entertainment for the 22nd Annual Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival will be “Lo Zampognaro. Lagaro” a folkloric group of singers and dancers from the northern town of Pomarolo, Trento. Pomarolo, Trento is a small town in the region of Trentino Alto Adige, Italy. This will be the musical groups first U.S. appearance. The Parade and Italian Festival will take place in Seaside Heights during the weekend of October 11th through the 13th.
“We are celebrating our 22nd year, the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival has emerged as one of the most popular ethnic cultural festivals in the state,” said Committee Chairman Michael Blandina. “As we have for the past fifteen years, we are bringing in a special group of talented people from the old Country to add an authentic spirit of Italian heritage and culture to these events. This year it is our honor to have with us the folkloric group “Lo Zampognaro. Lagaro” from Pomarolo, Trento.
Chairman Blandina credits John Giavatto, International Relations Co-Chairman for the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival Committee, with continuing to arrange for groups like “Lo Zampognaro. Lagaro” to attend the iconic Seaside Heights cultural festival.
“The Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival is the culmination of an extraordinary amount of selfless work and dedication by a small group of volunteers who are the heart and soul of the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival Committee,” said Chairman Blandina.
“ The group of volunteers grows to more then 50 during the weekend festivities. I cannot thank them enough for their energy and enthusiasm for making this Parade and Italian Festival a reality year after year
“Lo Zampognaro. Lagaro” consists of more than 30 experienced professionals, divided between singers, dancers and musicians, all with a long experience in folklore, brought together by the same love and interest for their culture. The goal of the group rediscover the value and importance of Trentino Folk music and dance traditions, which are also an excellent means of showing off their country’s customs around the world. The group wears costumes typical of their region of Italy. The dresses worn by the women and the costumes worn by the men were usually worn for special occasions.
The group has performed throughout Italy, and Eastern Europe. They come to Ocean County and the United States for only their first time at the invitation of the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival.
There is still time to get involved with the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival. The organizing committee is still seeking groups and organizations to participate in the Parade. Participation in the Parade is free. The committee is also seeking sponsors for the numerous bands that march in the parade. To volunteer to help the committee or for more information please contact Chairman Michael Blandina at 732-477-6507.