The St. Sebastian Church grounds were getting prepped this afternoon for the annual festival celebrating its patron saint. There are vendors of traditional Italian food, there is a small ferris wheel, and other amusement park escapades. The festival attracts almost all of Middletown's greats, who are either part of the church or who simply come for the sense of community that it brings to our city.
Even the set-up of the festival attracted luminaries. City health inspector Sal Nesci was supervising a number of teenagers making sure the vendors' tables and tents were all ready. And balanced precariously on the porch railing was the Chair of the Board of Education, Gene Nocera, aligning a banner acknowledging supporters of the festival.
Over at the fried dough booth, volunteers Sofia Augeri, Anna Rotondi, and John and Virginia Negrelli were eagerly awaiting the delivery of their dough. They will go through about 400 pounds of dough, all generously donated by Illiano's Pizza.
The Festival begins Friday evening, and continues through Sunday. The religious highlight is Sunday morning's Festa de Nuri, when the faithful honor their patron saint by running for him without shoes, dressed in white clothes with red stripes that cover parts of the body where Saint Sebastian was hit with arrows.
Don't miss this festival, which bridges centuries of history and culture extending from Middletown to Melilli.