Rockford Public Schools will be open on Columbus Day this year, swapping the traditional annual day off for the state’s newly designated Election Day holiday on Nov. 3. Government entities and public schools across the state are adjusting their work and attendance calendars after Gov. JB Pritzker signed the legislation on June 16.  Some schools are...

The Greater Rockford Italian American Association made the announcement Monday canceling all 2020 summer events, including Festa Italiana. This comes as the latest summer event to be canceled in the region due to COVID-19. While the state is currently in Phase 2 and ideally looking to get into Phase 3 within the month, officials with the associatio...

The Greater Rockford Italian American Association recently honored Frank Perrecone and Frank Fiorello at its annual Hall of Fame and Special Recognition Awards Banquet held at the Venetian Club. Perrecone, the principal at Ferolie & Perrecone law firm, was inducted into GRIAA’s Hall of Fame. Perrecone is a former chairperson of GRIAA and a long-tim...

Rockford’s Italian community invited a famous face to Rockford to celebrate their heritage. Solo Italiano is a one day fest put on by Franchesco’s Ristorante celebrating all things Italian. The fest had everything from Italian foods, to cars, to wines and beers. Proceeds from the fest went to help a local Italian family who have been battling a can...

The Greater Rockford Italian American Association held its annual Hall of Fame dinner Oct. 13 at the Venetian Club. Nino Castronovo received the Special Recognition Award. GRIAA honored Castronovo’s Dress Shop, which was opened by Castronovo’s mother in 1937 and is still in operation today at 323 N. Main St. The GRIAA awarded the GRIAA Hall of Fame...

Two of Salvatore and Maria Castronovo’s children were exceptionally talented musicians – Sam played the violin and Rose played and taught piano. So, it was only natural that the parents wanted Frances to follow in her sibling’s musical footsteps. But she had other ideas. She wanted to design fashions and open a dress shop. With $750 in seed money,...

Rockford Italian Sister Cities Alliance (RISCA) is celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Sister City agreement between Rockford and Ferentino, Italy. This partnership recognizes the contributions of Rockford’s Italian community and the century-old ties that many have maintained with Ferentino, an ancient walled hill town of 21,000 people 40 m...

Al Grace, a Rockford icon known to one generation for his music and the next for his quirky appliance ads, died today at the age of 98. Grace owned Al Grace Appliance, 811 W. Riverside Blvd., which opened in 1999 after a relocation and expansion from Al Grace Appliance & TV, 312 Ninth St., which he opened in 1962. “He was just an unbelievable man,”...

The Greater Rockford Italian American Association inducted three people into the Italian Hall of Fame for 2013 on Oct. 12 at Franchesco's Ristorante, 7128 Spring Creek Road. Inductees include Joseph A. Cavallero (posthumously,) Karen Cantele and John Canova. Lisa Trapani Frost received a special recognition award in the arts category.   Sou...

After successful visits to the New York tri-state area this past February, and to southern California in April, two important relics of St. Anthony of Padua are returning to the United States for a nine-day tour of Illinois and Wisconsin. The event, organized by the Messenger of St. Anthony magazine directed by the Franciscan Friars of the Pontific...