First-ever Italian festival for people of Hazleton slated for May

I think festivals celebrating the varied heritages that compose the U.S are wonderful. However I never thought I’d see one in Hazleton were the people so adamantly supported their mayor’s anti-immigrant laws and rhetoric which were directed at Hispanics (thought the mayor would never admit to this, but the protesters at many rallies for the mayor directly mentioned Hispanics and used Spanish on anti-immigrant banners).  It’s very ironic to see they’re having a festival meant to “preserve the genuine Italian heritage our area has” according to Donald Galade.  Will the anti-immigrant groups be out to protest this festival?

First-ever Italian festival for people of Hazleton slated for May – Standard Speaker
Monday, 25 February 2008
By JIM DINO
Staff Writer
A first-ever Italian festival for people of the Hazleton area will be held May 24 at Hazle Township Community Park. The Unico Club – originally formed for the purpose of uniting all Italian-Americans and to motivate them to become more civic minded – is spearheading the event.
Donald Galade of the Hazleton Unico Club said the club wanted to find a way to remember the Italian heritage of the area.

Shouldn’t these groups be considering the Unico Group, that has sponsored this even a ‘racist’ organization as they see La Raza?

The Unico Club is an Italian American service organization dedicated to engaging in charitable works, supporting education and performing patriotic deeds.

I hope they don’t fly any Italian flags because they’ll surely be shouted at for being unpatriotic (or will they?) and some may confuse it for a Mexican flag. I just can’t get over the fact that this town has been all over the news with its anti-immigrant laws and now they’re holding their first ever Italian festival. Will Joey Vento be their emcee? Has Hazleton come to its senses?

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Further reading (and listening):

Hazleton’s Anti-Illegal Immigrants Law Challenged – NPR

Waves of Hispanic Immigrants changing face of NEPA – Anti-Hispanic post from Free Republic which mentions Hazleton

The Hazleton Ordinance Smackdown — High Lights of the Low Lifes – (crude but interesting)

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