Family, faith and food highlight OLMC Feast

The statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is carried down High Street in perfect weather conditions Sunday. The statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is carried down High Street in perfect weather conditions Sunday.

Aubrianna Pichierri, 7, of Bristol, digs into a meatball sandwich. Photos by Manuel C. Correira.

Aubrianna Pichierri, 7, of Bristol, digs into a meatball sandwich.
Photos by Manuel C. Correira.

The 116th edition of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel took place this past weekend with large crowds in attendance in great weather conditions.

Led by Chief Marshals, Robert and Donna McKenna, this year’s celebration couldn’t have been any better, according to the Rev. Henry P. Zinno, Jr., pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

“The feast, 116 years old, is always new,” Father Zinno said. “Young families volunteering, different foods to try, our high school and college students so eager to help, and the Blessed Mother always radiating a joyful aura over the whole event. With Bob and Donna McKenna as Chief Marshals and Quent Dickmann and his sister Dorothy Dickmann as the Thomas Vendituoli Youth Award winners, how could anything this past weekend be other than faith-filled, joy-filled and inspired.”

Billed as the oldest, continuous feast of its type in the Diocese of Providence, the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (aka 16th of July Feast and Mt. Carmel Church Celebration) was everything one could imagine. Great Italian food, lively entertainment, raffles, bingo and activities for the children set the temp throughout the weekend. Starting with Father Zinno’s renowned lasagna selling out in less than an hour on Thursday’s “Early Bird” food night, and culminating with the traditional solemn procession around the Town Common and Benediction on Sunday, the feast drew high acclaim from many who attended.

The food fare, as one patron explained, was “out of this world.” Macaroni and meatballs, pulled pork sandwiches, sausage and

    Chief Marshals Donna and Robert McKenna were honored to have been chosen for their parish's highest honor.

Chief Marshals Donna and Robert McKenna were honored to have been chosen for their parish’s highest honor.

peppers sandwiches, and fish & chips were just some of the offerings.

Then, there were desserts like homemade waffles topped with ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream; and Mt. Carmel’s famous doughboys, which were as popular as any food item.

Parishioner and feast worker Linda DePasquale Dean says she has learned much from her 89-year-old mother, a longtime member of the feast committee who is still active in the doughboy booth.

“Since I was a little girl, I helped out at the OLMC feast with both my parents,” Ms. Dean said. “As an alumnus of OLMC School and receiving all my sacraments from the church, my mother ever since I can remember helped out at the feast. Over the years she made doughboys with many parishioners, but she wanted me to learn how to make doughboys by her side, and to help the church through the Blessed Mother.

“I started out a few hours here and there. Years have passed, 17 to be exact, and it has become such a blessed time,” she continued. “We dance to the music and make the dough boys; talk about the history of each booth, people, pastors, and how Father Zinno has inspired us to work together as a family. I am so proud to be just like my mom and to keep the tradition of a family member working at the doughboy booth with the Delmage family, Rosary, and procession. The experience is precious.”

For the children, there was free face painting, and cartoonagrams with Steve Brosnihan.

This year’s musical entertainment featured Vinnie Ames & Sh-Bop on Friday night, Triad on Saturday night, and King’s Row during Sunday’s finale.

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