Italian festival will pick up where its fallen leader left off

The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Italian festival in Youngstown will go on.

It really was never in doubt, but the church had been getting phone calls wondering if the annual event would take place this summer.

The reason some raised the question is because of the sudden death of Tony Trolio in November. Trolio founded the festival 16 years ago and chaired it every year.

It’s a tribute to Trolio’s competence and control of the festival that many would think it couldn’t go on without him.

But it’s also a tribute to Trolio that it will go on without even skipping a beat.

The four-day event near downtown Youngstown is a massive undertaking, but Trolio had it running well enough that folks shouldn’t notice a difference.

Frank Frattaroli, who had been handling a lot of the management duties from the start has taken over as director.

“I am keeping everything status quo,” said Frattaroli. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Frattaroli had been in charge of marketing, security, parking and other things. He said the OLMC committee will discuss ways to honor Trolio at this summer’s festival, which will be July 24-27.

Frattaroli has been involved with the church for pretty much his whole life. He is a past president of the parish council and has chaired its spaghetti dinners.

Still, there is a lot to learn about running the festival.

“Tony had a knack for this sort of thing, and there is still a lot of stuff that he did that I have to get a grasp on,” he said. “There is a lot more to it than people realize. But he kept good records and that makes it easier.”

The hallmark of the OLMC fest has always been its strict adherence to the Italian culture. For example, a lot of ethnic festivals hire a dance band for the evening, but the OLMC keeps its music — and food — 100 percent Italian.

The entertainment lineup for this summer’s OLMC will include the return of two favorite singers: Moreno Fruzzeti and Tony Ieluzzi.


The Brite Winter Music Festival can always be counted on for two things: great bands and frigid weather.

The second part is significant because the festival is largely outdoors. It takes place in public spaces and indoor venues in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.

The festival, in its fifth year, was Saturday, which was indeed a bright winter day. But the clear skies made for a bone chilling night. You could be two feet away from a fire pit and feel no heat.

Why do they have it in the dead of winter? Because the cold is part of it. It’s Cleveland’s way of laughing at winter. Plus, anybody can do a rock festival in July.

Brite Winter might be the only place you’ll see bands playing in heavy coats and fingerless gloves, with clouds of steam shooting from the singer’s mouth.

But its organizers carefully curate the lineup, and I made plenty of great discoveries there. My favorites were:

Seasick Mama: Brooklyn-based indie rockers led by a seductively transfixing singer who calls herself ... Seasick Mama.

Nick D and the Believers: Columbus-based synth-pop trio with undeniable commercial appeal.

Smooth Hound Smith: Rootsy Nashville duo that is more like a one-man band with a backup singer.

The Lighthouse and the Whaler: I wish I would have caught more of this Cleveland band (it was just too cold).

She Bears: Sharply defined post-punk guitar rockers out of Athens.


Starting tonight, the Confluence coffeeshop and eatery, 214 W. Washington St. in downtown New Castle, Pa., will open its stage to local musicians, speakers, comedians, and others who want to share their talent in front of an audience. Here is the schedule so far:

Tonight: Dan Swank, acoustic guitar set from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

March 8: Rock bands Coleville and Hardluck Heroes from 7-9 p.m.

March 20: Open mic night with Nick Allegro and friends, 6-8:30 p.m.

April 12: Hutch (acoustic) and Drop the Act (rock), 7-9 p.m.

If interested in playing, contact Angie Mohr at 724-654-5507.


Details are scarce, but tonight’s episode of DIY network series “Salvage Dawgs” (9:30 p.m.) was shot in Boardman. According to their website the crew will remove a terra-cotta facade in Boardman.

“Salvage Dawgs” follows two architectural salvage experts as they secure and restore architectural gems slated for demolition.

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