Italian Festival focuses on culture

He recalled the time of when there was a section of Albany, near Madison Avenue and Grand Street that was considered the Little Italy section, which originated from St. Anthony's Church that has since closed down, according to Isgro.

"That church has closed down and all those people were placed in different areas because of the [Crossgates] mall or have moved into the suburbs," said Isgro. "They now have bigger lawns and an area to provide a better living for their families."

The effect that Italian Americans have had on American culture is a topic Isgro hopes is brought out through educating people on Garabaldi, the introduction of Palladian windows as well as focus on Italian inventors who have helped America along the way.

"We bring a lot of that culture and tradition people didn't know about," he said of the Songs od Italy. "We try to incorporate that in the sense of the impact Italian Americans have had on this country."

A lot of this is fueled by third and fourth generation families are looking into their ancestry and are now turning to the organization for information that was not available to them when they were younger.

"We're trying to educate them on what their ethnic routes are," said Isgro.

And that is the purpose of this event, to try and draw more people into their organization and make them aware that there is a place where they can learn more about their family's history. Well, that and they just want people to come and have a good time.

"We want people to come and enjoy themselves and hopefully they enjoy what wqe do this year," he said, "because next year will be a bigger and better festival."

Admission to the festival and parking are free. The event will begin at 10 am and will end around 7 p.m. or dusk.""

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