St. Francis Day Celebration set for June 4
Annual tradition honors patron saint of Maida, Italy
AMBLER >> Pasta. Chickpeas. Music. Prayer.
Those four things come together only once a year: at the St. Francis Day Celebration in Ambler.
The St. Francis Day Celebration has been a tradition in the Ambler community for many decades. This year’s festivities, to be held Sunday, June 4, will be the 99th anniversary of the celebration, which brings together local residents who originate from the community of Maida, Italy.
The Saint Francis Society of Ambler organizes the celebration, which will begin with High Mass and Predica (sermon) at St. Joseph’s Church, 16 S. Spring Garden St. in Ambler, at 1 p.m. The Mass will be followed by a procession through Ambler accompanied by the Verdi Band that will end at the L.R.B. Sons of Italy Club, 211 W. Butler Ave. in Ambler. At the club, there will be a free devotional dinner called the Cicerata, which consists of a traditional Italian meal of chickpeas and pasta. After dinner, there will be a large celebration featuring live music, games and a raffle drawing. The festivities will end around 8 p.m.
Carmine Ciliberto, treasurer of the Saint Francis Society, extolled the celebration as a way to bring together the Italian community.
“The celebration gives people a reason to celebrate their hometown and their heritage,” Ciliberto noted.
The musical entertainment, this year headlined by the La Voce del Sud, allows the people to “dance and sing along to folk music that they don’t hear very often,” he added.
The event honors St. Francis, the patron saint of the town of Maida, who inspired the fun festivities.
“St. Francis’s mission was to provide entertainment and food to please the people of his own town,” Ciliberto remarked.
The Ambler celebration certainly honors his mission.
The event has something for everyone of all ages. While the adults can enjoy the Mass, the live music and the food, Ciliberto made a point that “for the kids, there will be a game truck and face painting.”
Ciliberto has been working with the Saint Francis Society of Ambler for more than 10 years and extended an open invitation to all to come out to the event.
“While we have four main events during the year, this is our largest turnout, and we invite everyone to come out and enjoy the celebration,” he said.
For more information about the St. Francis Day Celebration, visit Saintfrancissocietyofambler. com.