Amixi de Boggiasco e del Golfo Paradiso performed in Mancini Hall

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The Toms River branch hosted Amixi de Boggiasco e del Golfo Paradison from Boddiasco-Genova-Liguria Friday afternoon. This annual presentation of traditional dances was sponsored by the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade Committee, Inc.

Michael A. Blandina, the committee chairman opened the program.

The Polizia de Stato (State Police of Italy) posted the colors and the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, John D. McMahon Assembly provided the posting arch.

Maria Cambria sang the Star Spangled Banner and Amixi de Boggiasco sang the national anthem of Italy.

Committee co-chairmen Jerry Bove and John Giavatto welcomed the 130 people who attended the program.

Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari spoke about the importance of such celebrations that bring people together.

“First, and most important, is to remember it is all about family,” he said, and then remember the communal responsibilities people learn from their heritage.

One of those lessons Vicari said learned from his ancestors (his father was from Sicily and his mother from Naples) was the need to work and the pride that came with it.

Vicari also praised Mike Blandina’s commitment to the annual festival and presented him with a proclamation from the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

“Mike is very dedicated to this and he has a passion for his heritage,” Vicari said.

Of the 530,000 people living in Ocean County, it is home to about 165,000 people who are of Italian descent. The committee spends about $125,000 to host the week-long Italian-American event in Seaside Heights. More information about the festival can be obtained from their website www.ColumbusNJ.org .

Robert Di Biase is the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade.

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