Government People

Fisherman’s Feast to Award Mayor Thomas M. Menino “Italian American of the Year”

Mayor Thomas M. Menino at 1995 Fisherman’s Feast (Photo: Fisherman’s Club)

In recognition of his 20 years of service to the city of Boston as mayor, the Madonna del Soccorso Society of Boston will present Mayor Thomas M. Menino with their annual “Italian American of the Year” award during a presentation at the society’s headquarters at 9-11 Lewis Street on Thursday, Aug 15 at 6:00 pm.

“We are honored to be able to give this award to the mayor for everything that he has done. He was not only the mayor of this city, but he served as a leader, a role model and a generous individual to all,” said Madonna del Soccorso Society President Louis Strazzulo.

The award is a decade-long staple of the society’s Fisherman’s Feast, presented annually to an Italian American who exemplifies the traditions and values of the Italian American heritage and who has given back to the local Boston community. Past recipients include former World Welterweight Champion and Boston native Tony DeMarco, renowned chef Mary Ann Esposito and Boston Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino.

Menino is expected to be on hand for the presentation, to be held on the opening night of the 103rd annual Fisherman’s Feast. After the award ceremony, a procession will begin from Lewis Street and move through the North End to Waterfront Park for the ceremony at 7:30 pm. Festivities will continue throughout the weekend, concluding at 11:00pm on Sunday, Aug 18.

About the Madonna del Soccorso Society of Boston – The Madonna de Soccorso Society of Boston was founded in 1910 by Italian immigrants hailing from the town of Sciacca, Sicily. Every year since it’s founding, the society conducts the Fisherman’s Feast based on tradition that goes back to the 16th century in Sciacca and their devotion to the Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help). Today’s Feast is much the same as it was over 100 years ago, organized by the descendants of the original immigrants and holding the honor of being Boston’s oldest continuous Italian festival.

The Feast traditionally starts on the Thursday closest to Aug 15, the feast day of the Madonna, when past fishermen are remembered with a blessing of the fishing waters. There is entertainment on the North Street bandstand and vendors adorning North and Fleet Streets throughout the weekend as part of the festival, culminating on Sunday night with the famous “Flight of the Angel.”