St. John the Baptist to hold Italian Feast Sept. 10

Published 9:09 am Friday, September 2, 2011

For many people, an Italian feast conjures up thoughts of family fun, music, lots of people enjoying authentic Italian foods like pizza, sausage and onions, pasta, bread, wine and, of course, gelato. These events are common in the north. It’s an event for the whole family.
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church will hold an Italian Feast in Tryon on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. This year is the 100th anniversary of this parish in Tryon. The feast is part of the church’s plans to mark this centennial event.
Admission is free. Parking is blocks away at the Episcopal and Congregational churches. Trolley service is provided and located at 180 Laurel Ave., Tryon, where the feast will take place.
St. John’s was first built as a retreat for monks from Belmont Abbey near Charlotte. The church has almost completed its renovation. Tours of the church, including a church history, will be given at the event, complete with a Schola Choir singing ancient Gregorian chants.
The agenda for the event includes Italian dishes such as wood-fired pizza, sausage with peppers and onions, pasta and marinara, eggplant lasagna, Italian sodas, gelato, pizza fritte (fried pizza dough, sweetened with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar), other homemade dessert delicacies, beer and wine.
There will be places to sit and eat next to the gardens and new granite paved plazas. Italian music will fill the air, along with the smells of savory foods.
Adjacent parking lot areas will have karaoke, music, dancing and children’s entertainment, including fishing for prizes and storytelling, face painting and games, balloons and more.
The festival mascot is Topo Gigio, an Italian mouse. Mouse toys will be hidden here and there around the grounds for anyone to find. Those who do find a Topo Gigio will win prizes for both adults and children.
To kick off the feast, the evening before at sunset, a traditional Catholic procession will take place on the main streets of Tryon. It will include altar boys carrying incense and torches, banners and a traditional decorated donkey cart bearing a statue of St. John the Baptist, the church’s patron saint. Several hundred parishioners and clergy will be holding candles and chanting reverently.
The purpose is to bring awareness to the church and provide an opportunity for those who may have never seen a Catholic procession. Everyone is invited to join the procession at the end and then continue on to the church for music and refreshments.
For more information, call the church at 828-859-9574 or call Janet Sciacca at 864-457-6530. Also visit the church’s website at
– article submitted
by Janet Sciacca

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