The Ocean County Columbus Day Parade Committee
500 Christopher Columbus Boulevard
P.O. Box 1492, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751
(732) 914-0351, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Michael A. Blandina 732-477-6507
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
Seaside Heights, NJ
--- The Ocean County Columbus Day Parade Committee is pleased to announce that the special guest
entertainment for the 16th Annual Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival will be
“Lilybetano,” a folklore group of singers and dancers from the city of Marsala in Sicily. This
will be the world-renown musical group’s American debut. The Parade and Italian Festival will
take place in Seaside Heights during the weekend of October 5th through 7th.
“Now celebrating its 16th fall season, the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival has emerged as one of the most popular ethnic cultural festivals in the state,” said Committee Chairman Michael Blandina. “As in previous years, we are bringing in a special group of talented people from the Old Country to add an authentic spirit of Italian heritage and culture to our celebrations. This year we are honored to have with us the folklore group Lilybetano from the island of Sicily performing in the United States for the first time ever.”
Hailing from the city of Marsala, “Lilybetano” is one of Sicily’s oldest folkloric groups. The group was founded by Marsala musician Pietro Patti as a male-only ensemble in 1951. Since then, Pietro has dedicated his life to celebrating Sicilian folklore and introducing new generations to its rich cultural treasures. In 1953, women were invited to join and in doing so, helped propel the group into higher heights of artistic expression. In total the group numbers 35 members.
“Lilybetano” has captured the voice of a people who know how to cry, how to suffer, and how to enjoy life. Drawing upon a repertoire of some fifty songs and dances, the group performs musical works created by a variety of famous authors and musicians. Their costumes are representative of traditional Sicilian farm workers’ garments.
“Lilybetano” has performed throughout Italy and across the globe in such notable countries as Spain, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Malta, England, Switzerland, Tunisia, and France.
Chairman Blandina credits Mario Marano, Groups and Organizations Chairman for the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival Committee for “Lilybetano”’s appearance at the iconic Seaside Heights cultural festival.
“The Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival is the culmination of an extraordinary amount of selfless work and dedication by an extraordinary group of volunteers who are the heart and soul of the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival Committee,” said Chairman Blandina. “I cannot thank them enough for their energy and enthusiasm for making this Parade and Italian Festival a reality year after year.”
There is still time to get involved with the Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival. The organizing committee is still seeking groups and organizations to participate in the Parade. Participation in the Parade is free. The Committee is also seeking sponsors for the numerous bands that march in the Parade. For more information, please call Chairman Michael Blandina at 732-477-6507 or Mario Marano at 732-914-0351.