History, Food And Fun At Feast

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You don’t have to look far to find a festival in Nassau County this summer. It seems every weekend, a community is holding a festival-complete with the colorful carnival rides, delightfully indulgent foods, impossible to win games and music by local talent. But there’s one annual festival that has bragging rights above all the others—the Maria S. Dell’Assunta Society’s Feast of the Assumption, which celebrated its 105th year this past weekend.

Feast AResidents from Westbury and beyond flocked to the parking lot of St. Brigid’s School Aug. 12 through 16 to enjoy the summer staple, enjoying homemade Italian food, perusing the booths of vendors, testing their luck at the raffles and games, and laughing (or screaming) on the rides.

And while the festival committee wants the fair to be a great time for everyone, at the end of the day, it’s all about one thing: tradition.

“It’s tradition,” said Dell’Assunta Society Second Vice President Domenico Buffolino. “If the older generation did it, why can’t we? We do it for the younger kids and hope they do it too.”

Feast BThe first feast was in August of 1910 on the St. Brigid’s Church parking lot, and was held to honor the Blessed Mother. Nowadays, the feast still holds onto its religious roots, with an annual Saturday mass followed by a procession from St. Brigid’s Church to the feast grounds, where four men carry a statue of Mary. A portion of proceeds from the feast are also donated back to the church.

Feast C“I believe in tradition, and first and foremost we do this for the Blessed Mother,” said Joe Piscitelli, an ex-president with the society. “We have a nice mass and carry the statue like we do in the old days. We want to keep that tradition going.”

The Dell’Assunta Society boasts more than 100 members, but with many of them getting older, society president MaryAnn DiGuiseppi said it’s very important to pass the society’s tradition on to the younger generation and get them involved. It takes about 50 volunteers to help keep the feast running, and one of the most popular attractions is the Café Assunta, where the ladies of the Dell’Assunta society serve up homemade Italian fare, including meatballs, eggplant parmesan, sauce, tripe, ziti and more.

“That brings people back year after year,” DiGuiseppi said.

 

Feast D
Families enjoyed time together at the feast

 

 

Feast K
Homemade Italian food made by the ladies of the Dell’Assunta Society was a huge hit at the feast.

 

Feast M
Winners of the baking contest proudly hold their delicious confectionery treats

 

Feast N
Attendees tried their luck at casino games

 

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