By TAYLOR HARTZ
During the annual Italian-American Festival that fills downtown Southington with the scent of sausage and peppers and pasta fagioli, festival-goers take a break from visiting food and craft vendors on Sunday morning when an outdoor crowd gathers at the festival’s main stage, for a full Catholic mass.
This year’s mass will be held in memory of Arthur and Helen DellaVecchia, long-time supporters of the Italian tradition, who sponsored the mass since its inception in 2002.
The honorary mass, delivered in Italian, will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 31.
“Art and Helen DellaVecchia had been very dedicated workers to the town of Southington for many years and had sponsored the mass for 12-years,” said Joe Laporte, festival coordinator for UNICO, one of three sponsors of this year’s festival.
Arthur DellaVecchia, who owned DellaVecchia Funeral Home on Main Street, died in 2004 at the age of 82. This year, his wife Helen passed away in March at the age of 98.
“We thought it was the appropriate time to honor them,” said Laporte.
Their children, Adele and David, “are carrying on the legacy of sponsoring the mass,” said Dawn Miceli, Town Councilor and Southington UNICO member.
The mass will take place at 10 a.m. on Center Street on July 31, followed by the procession of the Madonna Della Strata statue through the downtown area at 11 a.m.