The 16th annual Our Lady of Mount Carmel Italian Festival will open Thursday and run through July 27 on the church grounds, near Choffin Career Center.
The festival stays true to its Italian heritage, with a full slate of musical performances on two stages. Acts include local and regional favorites Rex Taneri, the Avanti Band, Rocky Monaco, Dominic Tocco, Frank Gallo, Moreno Fruzzetti, Tony Ieluzzi, and John Gabriele.
On July 27, the traditional procession will begin at 1 p.m., led by the Plazateer Band.
The event also includes a wine-making contest, 14 food vendors, raffles, an Italian auction, children’s activities, a dunking tank and a photo booth.
Free parking is available at several lots within a few blocks of the church, including Choffin, Levinson Tire and P&L Heating. Drivers in golf carts will roam the lots and give attendees a lift to the festival site.
A highlight this year will be a presentation to honor the man and woman of the year — Dr. Mario Santangelo and Dolores Good — and present the festival scholarship winners (James Hungerford, Vincent Morgione and Daisy Corso).
The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. Friday on the main stage.
Claire Maluso will introduce the recipients, as well as the new festival chairman, Frank Frattaroli.
A special Lifetime Achievement Award also will be awarded posthumously to Tony Trolio, the founder of the OLMC Italian Festival. Trolio died late last year at age 74.
Trolio was the director of the OLMC fest every year, and also chaired the Greater Youngstown Italian Fest for four years and the Brier Hill Dance Reunion Committee for four years.
He and his wife, Darlene, had five children.
Trolio was also known for his T-shirt and apparel shop in Poland and for his Ciao Promotions, which regularly booked Italian dinner-shows in the area. He also founded the Poland Little Bulldogs in 1969 and the Youngstown Morra League in 1982, and he wrote two memoirs on his life growing up in the Brier Hill neighborhood.
Dr. Santangelo, the man of the year, is a Youngstown native and Rayen High School graduate. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in dentistry from Loyola University of Chicago.
Dr. Santangelo, 82, was a professor of dentistry at Loyola University, chairman of its department of radiology and associate dean of Loyola’s dental school. He authored numerous articles for dental journals and was a speaker for dental symposiums across the country.
He served as the secretary and then director of the American Dental Association and was on the assembly for the accreditation of dental schools. He received many awards, including the prestigious Dr. Harry Strusser Memorial Award at NYU College of Dentistry.
Dr. Santangelo was captain in the U.S. Air Force after attending dental school.
Although he was a longtime resident of Chicago, Dr. Santangelo maintained his connections and love of the Mahoning Valley.
In later years, Dr. Santangelo came back to the area to take care of his brother, Vincent, and his sister, Antoinette Santangelo. It was during this period that Dr. Santangelo decided to move to Boardman.
He is devoted to the Catholic Church and Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish and has shown particular support for St. Joseph the Provider School.
Through a variety of activities, woman of the year Dolores Good has touched the lives of many OLMC parishioners.
She began working with the youth ministry in 1962 and took over the instruction of the RCIA candidates, baptism classes and confirmation classes.
Good often taught classes for the Diocese of Youngstown and was part of the OLMC choir for many years.
In 1986, she introduced two new programs to the students of OLMC: Italian Culture Week and Vacation Bible School. She also took youth ministry students to Cedar Point every summer. Altar server training fell under her instruction, as did helping with the Passion Mime every year.
Good was very involved in the preparation and celebration of OLMC’s 100th anniversary. She continues to be part of St. Monica Guild and the spiritual director of the Legion of Mary, which takes communion to the sick and homebound.
Good was born and raised in the Smoky Hollow neighborhood and remembers walking to the church every Sunday with her parents, Michael T. Lariccia and Concetta Santangelo Lariccia. She was baptized, made her first communion and confirmation, and was married to Walter E. Good at OLMC. Walter and Dolores recently celebrated 52 years of marriage.