There was something for everyone at the annual Saint Rocco’s Church Feast and Festival, a timeless tradition that completed its seven-day stay Sunday in Johnston.
For Anna DeRobbio, 88, of Cranston, it was an opportunity to break bread with her friend Etta Branca, 90, and enjoy a sandwich featuring a freshly made roll from The Original Italian Bakery under the “Big Top.” Patrons also had the chance to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a two-year lease on a 2019 Lincoln MKC or one of two cash prizes.
Much to DeRobbio’s surprise, she had the winning ticket for the Lincoln, although she hasn’t as yet decided whether she’ll take the car or cash.
Likewise, Maria Broccoli of North Providence won the second grand raffle prize of $1,500, while Rich Vinacco had the winning ticket for the third prize of $1,000.
Children had the opportunity to test their skills at various carnival booths and win inflatable aliens, like the colorful creation Nick Smith took home. J.J. Pisaturo, 6, enjoyed the Fishing Pond game and took home not one but two stuffed animals.
For Alexandra Trikoulis, the fun slide provided many fun-filled moments as her mother watched, as did the grandparents of Domenic, 9, and Gia Vescera, 8, when they enjoyed some up-and-down thrills on the bungee-cord apparatus.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s procession, which followed the 11 a.m. solemn Mass, again attracted a large crowd of proud parishioners, including students from Saint Rocco’s School.
“Everything went well,” co-chairman John Ricci said of the 2019 event. “Our religious Masses were beautiful … we had great crowds of people and thank God for all the beautiful and wonderful people who support our event every year.”
Richard Montella, the event’s veteran co-chairman, added: “On behalf of [the Rev. Angelo] Carusi, John and myself, I would like people to know how much we appreciate their support and dedication for this year’s festival. The generosity of their time, talents and energy go well beyond the past four days.”
Montella, who was speaking about the parish’s “fantastic volunteers,” also heaped praise upon the Straw Draw games committee and fact that proud parishioners rolled more than 100,000 straws for 700 prizes that resulted in festival-goers spending big bucks at the booth, which resulted in the second-highest profit in the past 15 years.
“Over the years I have been every so impressed with the genuine commitment that people here at Saint Rocco’s make that has ensured the utmost success for each and every feast and festival,” Montella said. “This year, in particular, it was especially noticeable how we came together as a community.”