Rockfall resident says church fest is all about tradition

Rockfall resident Mario Mazzotta is among the tri-chairs of the 2023 Saint Sebastian’s Church “100 + 2” Festival in Middletown. The event will take place May 19 to 21.

Joining Mazzotta as chairs of the annual church “feast” are Angela Magnano and Christopher Serra.

Mazzotta said he took on the leadership role in order “to continue the tradition of the St. Sebastian’s festival for future generations,” pointing out that this year is the 102nd anniversary of the feast.

The three-day event offers something for everyone.

Along with restaurants offering “delicious Italian cuisine,” Mazzotta said this year’s festival will feature a vendor tent.

One of the items available there will be the Italian cookbook “Cooking From The Heart,” by Mazzotta’s wife, Nella. The book details traditional Sicilian recipes along with their vegan versions.

Nella Mazzotta wrote the book when her son Nicholas became a vegan. “The traditional Italian food that he used to eat and love, that had meat and fish, he couldn’t any more,” she said.

As a result, “I decided to become very clever and make vegan versions of the dishes I used to make,” the author said. “[W]e will eat the vegan versions; no complaints.”

On Sunday, the final day of the Saint Sebastian’s feast, before the 11 a.m. high mass, about 100 people will gather at Saint Sebastian’s Church Cemetery in Middlefield for the “I Nuri Run.”

Run organizer Joe Spatola, Jr. said when the “Nuri” leave the cemetery they will go straight down Route 66 into Middletown and pause in front of the St. Sebastian’s statue before turning right into Mellili Plaza and straight to the Sons of Italy Hall. There, they’ll wait for the signal to enter the church.

“That is the way it has always been done historically,” Spatola stated.


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