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Mamaroneck's St. Vito's Festival Returns

MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Jim Lanza and Bonnie Casterella will combine their 14 years of festival-hosting experience to co-chair the second-to-last event celebrating St. Vito's centennial anniversary, the Festa from June 23-26.

St. Vito's, established in 1910, began its year-long centennial celebration with the opening mass on Sept. 26 last year, and will hold the closing mass on Sept. 25. In between, the church, led by Msgr.James White, decided to resurrect several of the old traditions, including the Festa, which was last held in 2003.

"Since we were celebrating our 100th year anniversary, Monsignor White wanted something every couple of months," Casterella said. "So we thought this was one of the nice events to do."

The Festa, which the co-chairs also refer to as "The Feast," was an annual four-day festival held in the church parking lot along Franklin Avenue until the church leadership at the time, "lost interest," said Joseph Comblo, Parish manager and 17-year CYO girls basketball coach."He's the catalyst," said Lanza, of White.

St. Vito's also held a reunion in the gym last October for anyone who attended St. Vito's or played a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) sport. In February, there was a gala dance at Fountainhead in New Rochelle, and in April, the church hosted an international pot-luck dinner for the first time.

"Everything we had in our past, we brought it back," said Comblo, who will lend a hand at the Festa as raffle chairman. "This might take off, it might become a big thing that everybody wants to do next year."

Please share you memories of past St. Vito's festivals.

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