Little Man and I will be heading over to St. Anthony's church in East Utica this morning for a tradition that has lasted for over 100 years. After mass, the statue of St. Anthony along with parishioners, ladies with the large baskets of St. Anthony's bread, escorts from the Knights of St. John, and La Banda Rossa, "The Red Band" will proceed up St. Anthony Street, through East Utica. The band will stop along various homes along the "parade" route, to play "Marche Reale" in front of those that display photos of statues of St. Anthony.
This isn't just a tradition for the church, but for my family as well, my grandfather, was a vital member of La Banda Rossa for many, many years (as well as other various family members) and we continue this tradition to honor his memory, our Italian heritage, and our love for St. Anthony. Not to mention to enjoy the best pizza frite in Utica!
If you want to experience this unique tradition for yourself, you can find St. Anthony church at the corner of Bleecker and St. Anthony Sts. The procession follows 11am mass.