Lloyd Campisi, Janice Macomber, Debbie Garrot and Mayor Mark Piazza display the
Sicilian Flag. Garrot helped to organize Saturday’s Sicilian Festival. Campisi, Macomber and Piazza represent the I Cugini Della Sicilia (Cousins of Sicily).
First Sicilian Celebration Saturday at Guarino Blacksmith Shop in Abbeville
The Sicilian Celebration is nearing and Debbie Garrot said she is expecting a great turnout. The event takes place on March 23 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and will take place at the Sam Guarino Blacksmith Shop Museum and Heritage Center located at 304 S. State Street in Abbeville.
Garrot arranged the celebration after learning the history of Sicilian heritage here in Vermilion Parish. “Once I heard of the hardships of those who came here from Sicily, along with their rich heritage, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hold this celebration for everyone to learn more about this great culture,” Garrot explained.
There was massive immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s and New Orleans was a destination for many. A large number of those immigrants traveled to Vermilion Parish and descendents still reside here today. Names such as Piazza, Campisi, Guzzardo, and many other surnames originated from the far away land of Sicily.
Although they carried very few possessions on their month-long journey, Italians brought old world cultural values, work ethic, frugality, faith, family devotion and sheer joy of life to many parishes in Louisiana. When it comes to food, pasta’s, pizza’s, and a lot of the carb-filled foods that ‘cajuns’ like to fill up on, Italians bring in flavors of the land, which include tomatoes.
“We cannot wait to see everyone, laugh with everyone, and learn more about such a colorful culture,” Garrot said. “Please come and join us.”
The celebration will hold a cooking contest, tours of the Blacksmith Shop Museum, live music, as well as imported wine and beer that will be available for purchase. Admission is free.