Thursday, October 7, 2010

St. Rocco's Procession

Last year you might recall my blog this time of year on St. Rocco's procession at Mt. Carmel Church in North Denver gave us a hint on how the recession was affection the economy in our city.

Each August, the Potenza Lodge of Mt. Carmel Church hosts the bidding of the carrying of the statue of the saint through the neighborhood around the church at W. 36th and Navajo. Many people who came to Colorado from Italy, came from Potenza. This last Sunday was the annual Procession of the Statue of St. Rocco. Marie Lava Clayton was there, the Italian Consul was there, Dutchess Iacino Scheitler was there along with the Casagranda's and the LaNegro's all the way from Boulder. I was there, Tony Lombard and his mom were there and several hundred other people from all over were there. Tom Tancredo did not make it. This year the band with lots of trumpets and trombones enlivened the march along the streets of North Denver. The procession brought smiles to the people who come out on porches to watch.

Last year families from the parish bid slightly over $2,000 to carry the statue. That figure was down from previous years which I took as a sign of a tough economy. But this year the bidding family topped over $5,000 which prompted my cousin, Captain Brian Gallagher of Denver's Police Department, to speculate that the high bid may be a good sign that the recovery is around the corner. I argued that it was probably more generous parishoners, not economic recovery.

After the procession through the neighborhood during which two young women dressed as angels handed out flowers to all the women along the parade route, the people made their way to Potenza Lodge across from Leprino's Cheeze Offices on West 38th. Experts say the feast serves the best sausage and green pepper sandwiches in the city.

Finally, friends, amici, this procession is what truly separates Denver from the suburbs. This is community building at the best. This parade is what makes Denver a great city. You just don't get something this special, old-world, ethnic, loveable and meaningful in Cherry Hills Village.

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