Italian American Club keeps traditions alive

Oct 11, 2016 1081

The smell of meatballs lingered in the air at the Italian American Club of Jacksonville four days before one of their biggest events of the year, Festa Italiana. A dozen members were gathered at their facility on Westberry Road in Mandarin to roll more than 1,000 meatballs for the event, which was held Saturday and Sunday, kicking off Italian-American Heritage Month.

The club, which formed in Jacksonville in the 1930s, disbanded during World War II before reforming in 1951, said Treasurer Lucy Cortese, whose parents were among the founders. Cortese's parents, Angelo and Lucy Giardino, came to the U.S. from Italy and were married in New Jersey before moving to Northeast Florida.

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