On this Memorial Day weekend, while we honor those who serve our country both past and present, a community in Lackawanna County also pays respect to three Italian saints.
Hundreds flocked to Jessup Saturday to celebrate St. Ubaldo Day and kick off the weekend-long celebration.
With the sound of music, bright and early in part of Lackawanna County, St. Ubaldo Day kicked off without a hitch.
“It’s one time a year we get to celebrate our saints and show respect for the saints, St. Ubaldo, St. George, and St. Antonio,” said Theodore Chesar of Jessup.
Families of the three saints, dressed in specific colors: Gold for St. Ubaldo, black for St. Anthony, and blue for St. George.
They walked in procession to St Mary’s Assumption Church for the St. Ubaldo Day Mass where all three saints were honored. It was a very special ceremony for everyone involved.
“I’m very proud to be here because we’re here to uphold the legacy that was given to us by our ancestors from Italy, and we’re proud of our Italian heritage and that’s what we’re going to do this weekend,” said Jeanette Mariani, Blakely Mayor.
Outside of church, was the Alzata, or raising of the saints. It all kicked off with a blessing and tossing of the brocche.
Folks rushed to get a piece of the brocche for good luck.
Moments after, was a little preview to the night’s running of the saints, a jam packed celebration that means the world to many.
“It’s the most important, most blessed, most respectful and honorable day of the year for me and my entire family, we love this day, we live for this day,” said Enrico Anelli of Dunmore.
The race of the saints started around 5:30 p.m.
Dozens of runners raced through the streets carrying statues of Saints Anthony, George and Ubaldo, and, not surprisingly, Saint Ubaldo won.
The race, and the festival, is a tradition that has been going on for more than 100 years in Lackawanna County.