NEW BRITAIN - Italian heritage was the theme Monday morning when city officials held their annual Columbus Day wreath laying ceremony at McCabe Park.
“This is the only place in New Britain where you can have a statue dedicated to an Italian, in a park named after an Irishman, at the entrance of Little Poland,” said Mayor Erin Stewart, introduced as Erin Badolato Stewart to include her mother’s Italian maiden name. “It’s a sign of the diversity that we’re very proud to embrace in the city.”
Stewart said that even though there has been much debate about the significance of the holiday over the years, there is little debate about the impact Italians and their explorers have had on the development of North America.
“Today is meant to mark the meeting of the Old World and the New World - an event that forever changed the course of history,” Stewart said.
Stewart spoke about the many aldermen, city officials and residents throughout the years who came from Italian heritage and contributed to the growth of the city.
“The Italian spirit has left an indelible and remarkable imprint on the city of New Britain itself,” Stewart said.
The mayor said there are currently talks among officials about bringing an annual Italian festival to the city next year.
“We thank you for all the contributions that Italian Americans have made throughout the years,” said Terry Crescimanno, president of Angelo Tomasso Sr. Lodge #2165 Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, during prayer.
Following words from Stewart and Crescimanno, wreaths from Lodge #2165, the Italian Heritage Foundation, the Calabria Mia Society and the Generale Ameglio Civic Association were placed at the statue of Christopher Columbus in the park.
The Columbus statue was dedicated on Oct. 12, 1941 by Mayor George J. Coyle.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.