It's been more than 100 years since the families of many Old Forge residents immigrated here from Italy, but for one weekend every year those individuals get a sense of what home felt like for their ancestors.
The Felittese Association will present its annual Felittese Festival Sept. 7 through 9, at the Felittese Chapel grounds. This year marks the 25th anniversary since the festival was revitalized in 1987.
"The founding families came over here with their faith…and they had a chapel built, and the first picnic was a celebration in 1907," said Joe Terruso, Felittese Association board member.
The festival is modeled after one that is being held the same weekend in Felitto, a town in the province of Salerno, Italy.
Both festivals are held to honor Our Lady of Constantinople, who has been venerated in the town of Felitto since 1790. The Felittese Festival in Old Forge is designed to bring descendants of Felitto together for a weekend of good food, music and prayer, with a Mass scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9, at Prince of Peace Parish at 10 a.m., followed immediately by a procession of the carrying of the statue of Our Lady of Constantinople to the chapel grounds.
This year's menu includes tripe, sofritto, gnocchi, meatball platters, porketta sandwiches, sausage and pepper sandwiches, portabella mushroom sandwiches, pasta fagioli, as well as Italian pastries, including cannoli, biscotti, cheesecake, cookies and the pizza fritta.
This year the festival will include the inaugural Race for Our Lady of Constantinople. The two-mile race and fun walk will be held Sept. 9, beginning at the Old Forge High School football field, located at 301 1st St., and ending at the Felittese Chapel grounds, 145 3rd St., Old Forge. Registration will begin at the high school at 8 a.m., with the race at 9 a.m. Cost to participate in the race is $15. For details, visit http://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/events/110422559104909/