What will have 37 vendors, Rhode Island’s “Top Cop,” a native and popular television news anchor, a smorgasbord of food and more enthusiasm than a rookie about to start his first Major League Baseball game?
It’s the Our Lady of Grace Church Primavera, a fun and food-filled fest that like fine wine seems to get better with age.
On Saturday, April 29, in fact, OLG’s 9th Annual Primavera will likely surpass any and all records since the Primavera began under leadership of Monsignor Carlo Montecalvo as a way for the Roman Catholic Parish to celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Enter Rev. Peter J. Gower, who arrived at OLG just after the centennial celebration and suggested “we make a little twist to the event by celebrating the lives of very important people in the parish and Johnstonians who have had a profound effect at OLG with the title of Grand Marshall.”
As Father Gower said earlier this week, “Who better than to serve as this year’s Grand Marshal then Police Chief Richard S. Tamburini – a parishioner here at OLG – who has given his life in service of our society, protecting us.”
Tamburini, as the popular priest pointed out, “is a decorated 53-year law enforcement veteran with more than 40 years of supervisory leadership experience and has led two police departments in five decades.”
Father Gower then toasted the popular JPD chief, saying, “Chief Tamburini was with the Providence Police Department for 29 years and has served a Johnston Police Chief for the past 23 years. He has a proven record of accomplishment of collaborating with countless community based organizations. We here at OLG are thrilled he’s serving as our Grand Marshall.”
Previous grand marshals include Domenic D’Iorio, who served as chairman for five year; Emma Pezza, OLG’s oldest parishioner at 107; and Mayor Joseph Polisena, who earlier this week said he was “thrilled to receive such an honor for a great honor.”
The Primavera will be held on Saturday, April 29 from 3 to 6 p.m. inside Fioretti Hall that’s on the ground level at OLG which, for non-parishioners information, is located at 4 Lafayette Street in Johnston.
“Our 9th Annual Primavera will be a wine and food tasting unlike any other we’ve held in past years,” Father Gower predicted. “There are over 100 food-related eateries in Johnston and I’m proud to announce we’ll have 37 of those businesses here on April 29 for people to sample their many fine foods.”
Add to that the name of Mike Montecalvo, a native Rhode Islander and news anchor at WPRI-TV who will serve as master of ceremonies, and that’s another reason why Father Gower said “there’s increased interest in this year’s Primavera; everyone’s excited, tickets are selling fast and we’re expecting to be sold out.”
Moreover, as Father Gower wanted it known, “this is a big, big undertaking for our parish and hours upon hours of hard work has gone into our 9th Annual Primavera. We reach out to all the vendors in Johnson and invite them to share with us their specialties of food and business and their response has been overwhelming.”
And, as Father Gower will quickly tell people, “our 18-member planning committee along with the Holy Name Society and St. Anne Sodality deserve much of the credit for what people will enjoy here at OLG on April 29.”
The popular priest then issued a huge thank you to OLG parishioner Joe Andreozzi, Chairman of the Primavera, who he emphasized “has been working and working and working on this year’s event almost as soon as last year’s event was over.”
Father Gower then toasted the entire planning committee that includes, in full: Joe and Joan Andreozzi, Joe and Angela Quartino, Tom and Pat Ucci, Joanne Burley, Paul Goulet, Tom Kowal and Linda Corrente, Louis Pontarelli, Marilyn and Mecca Domenico, Tammy Borges, Al and Connie Colannino, Joyce Carnevale and members of the Holy Name Society and St. Anne Sodality.
“Our parishioners look forward to all the different vendors that arrive, sharing their foods, drinks and stories about their particular restaurants,” said Father Gower. “It is a great opportunity for all the people of the parish, their friends and neighbors, to come to know about the wonderful establishments we have in Johnston and neighboring area. We are grateful that people will once again be part of this great event.”
An event, Father Gower also announced will also feature Italian music, a penny social, and door prizes all in a spring green setting.