GENEVA — From a special memorial ceremony to a cooking class, even to a Halloween party, the local lodge of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America will be celebrating October Italian Culture and Heritage month in style.
Geneva Lodge 2397 will kick off the busy month on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 1 p.m. at the Torrey Park Monument for its second annual wreath laying ceremony. The monument is at the corner of Avenue E and Humbert Street across from Club 86. For many Italian immigrants arriving in Geneva, the boarding house that once stood there was their first stop and home, and Torrey Park became Geneva’s first Italian neighborhood. Those attending the ceremony are invited back to the lodge at 31 Prospect Ave. for refreshments.
Other events, all of which are open to the public, include:
• Friday, Oct. 18, 6:30 p.m. — An historical exhibition, “Just Down the Street — A History of Geneva’s Neighborhood Groceries from 1900-1970,” will be presented at the lodge. Many neighborhood grocery stores in the city were family owned, and family members have shared stories of their immigrant ancestors’ early days in the grocery business. Posters, artifacts, and some family members will be present. Light refreshments will be available. Free admission.
• Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. — The lodge will host a cooking class focusing on two recipes from the southern region of Puglia. Again, everyone is invited, members and non-members. Admission is free.
• Saturday, Oct. 26 — In the spirit of Italy’s popular carnival celebrations, the lodge will host “BT’s Annual Halloween Bash” beginning at 8 p.m. The band Night Train will provide the entertainment. There will be a costume contest with cash prizes, free pizza and drink specials. Admission is $10 per person at the door.
• The activities will continue into November as the lodge will host an “Italian Heritage & Culture Fall Brunch” on Sunday, Nov. 10. Deceased members of the lodge will be remembered at the 9 a.m. Mass at St. Francis de Sales Church, followed by an 11 a.m. brunch at Club 86. Cost of the brunch is $25 for adults and $12 for kids 10 and under. Call the lodge for brunch tickets on or before Nov. 4.
The Geneva lodge celebrated its 42nd Anniversary in 2019. The Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America is a fraternal organization consisting of men and women in both the United States and Canada and was founded in 1905 in New York City. The National OSDIA Office is located in Washington, D.C. For more information about OSDIA and lodge membership go to the lodge website at: www.osia2397.com or call (315) 781-2242 or visit the National OSDIA website at: www.osia.org.