So proud of his Italian heritage, Renzo Gerard Cantin decided to use it as the basis of his seventh grade Louisiana history project at Holy Cross School. He created a tabletop Saint Joseph Day altar and an accompanying poster presentation on the influence of Italian immigrants in Louisiana. Cantin was pleased that the project qualified for state le...

Piled high with 500lbs of spaghetti, 150 gallons of sauce and 50lbs of cheese, the world's biggest pasta bowl made its annual appearance for St. Joseph's Day celebrations. The whopping bowl of pasta, spanning eight feet in diameter, was more than enough to feed hungry New Orleans spectators on Friday.  In addition to the noodles, meatless gravy and...

THEN: Starting in 1884 and continuing through to 1924, an estimated 290,000 Italian immigrants -- a great deal of them from Sicily -- arrived in New Orleans, fleeing economic and political turmoil. In short order, their indelible influence would be felt on the city. With the French Quarter no longer a fashionable address, many of the city's more we...

As big as a hubcap and layered with ham, salami, provolone cheese and -- critically -- olive salad, a single muffuletta sandwich can feed four grown adults. The muffuletta, despite its Italian-sounding name and ingredients, is pure New Orleans. It can be found neither in Italy nor in the other American cities that, like New Orleans, received an inf...

When one thinks of frontier justice or violent lynchings in the United States, it conjures the specter of lawlessness in the old West or the anti-black intolerance of the Deep South. This is inevitable, not only because of the magnitude of such atrocities, but because of the attention brought to them by modern American society, which largely sprung...

The Italian American Marching Club is one of the largest ethnic organizations in the Southeastern United States. It was founded by Joseph Cardenia and friends in 1970 and has climbed to heights of 1500 members in recent years. The objective is to keep Italian heritage prevalent in New Orleans, the destination of so many of their forefathers in the...

Baking cookies is a labor of love for many of those devoted to St. Joseph. This time of year, volunteers spend hundreds of hours making Italian cookies for area St. Joseph altars built to honor the saint. It takes time and organization to produce the many cookies that visitors expect to taste and see when they visit an altar. The bakers gladly acce...

Each year, hundreds of people gather at the Hilton Riverside Grand Ballroom to dig into a giant bowl of pasta and kick off the pre-party of the annual Italian American Marching Club St. Joseph Parade. The pasta will be served on March 17 at noon from a bowl that stretches 8 feet wide and holds 500 pounds of pasta and more than 150 gallons of meatle...

Mount Carmel Academy honor student Aubrie St. Germain will reign as queen of the 47th annual Italian American Marching Club's St. Joseph Parade on Saturday, March 18. The parade rolls at 6 p.m. and winds its way from the Convention Center through the French Quarter. The 17-year-old Metairie resident has been training for this regal role practically...

The following parishes, schools and entities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans will host St. Joseph Altars. The tradition, which is Sicilian and Roman Catholic in origin but is carried on locally by Italian-Americans and people of all nationalities and faiths, includes baking cookies and cakes and preparing foods for the altar. The offerings accomp...