Beginning this weekend and lasting all month an exhibit at King’s Daughter’s Library in Garnerville will teach the public about Haverstraw’s role in the history of the Festa di Maria Montevergine celebration. A grand opening for the exhibit will take place at the library on Sunday, June 4 at 2 p.m
The Festa di Maria celebration began in Italy in the early 1900s and was brought to this country by two brothers, Angelo and Charlie DeGiso, who lived on Warren Ave. in Haverstraw. They were born in Naples, Italy, and would travel up the mountainside to Avellino where there was a shrine dedicated to the Blessed Mother. They continued to hold yearly celebrations after they moved to Haverstraw.
The Festa was held on the Labor Day weekend in September and was a joyous affair. Historic photos show parades through the village streets, processions to St. Peter’s Church, religious services at the chapel and St. Peter’s Church. They had floats, fireworks, concerts and busloads would come up from New York City and surrounding area.
The Festa moved to different locations over the years but has returned to the Warren Ave. chapel. They expect to hold another Festa this year.
The grand opening of the exhibit will include a video filmed at the chapel by Gregg Malora, technology instructor at North Rockland High School, produced with the help of technology course students. The video features Rita DiCarlo discussing the Festa’s history as well as Corinne McGeorge and Catherine Macauley, who commissioned a watercolor painting of the Festa by Bob Burghardt.
DiCarlo and Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howard Phillips will speak at the grand opening, which the general public is invited to attend. Contact Corinne McGeorge at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or for more information. Hudson Valley Exhibits, Inc. put the exhibit together.