Brooklyn knows how to celebrate Italian culture.
Brooklyn Borough Hall once again played host to an Italian–American Heritage Month Celebration on Monday, October 23.
The event, hosted by Borough President Eric Adams and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, honored several Italian-Americans and featured singers and food from local Italian restaurants that have made an impact on the borough.
Marco-Polo Restaurant, 345 Court Street, played an integral role in organizing the event.
“It went very well,” said Marco Chirico, co-owner of Marco Polo. “We had a great turnout and great representation for Italian-Americans, especially in Brooklyn and it’s great to embrace the heritage, follow your culture over the years and not to lose your Italian background.”
The event was designed to honor Italian-Americans who have embraced the culture, highlighting what they’ve accomplished.
“They came to this country to be successful, but it’s very tough so we honor them as they’ve accomplished so much in America and especially in Brooklyn,” he added. “We like to promote what they’ve done and show younger generations what they’ve done and showcase the future of keeping up the culture.”
“Joe [Chirico] and his son Marco have really been the architects of this event for so many years,” said Kings County Democratic Chair Frank Seddio, who spoke during the event. “We all come here as immigrants, and whatever part of Italy your parents come from and however long it might have been, we still call ourselves Italian-Americans. That’s the privilege of being an American — saying my cultural background and experience are part of the fabric that lets us become a good American.”
“These are exciting times for the Italian American community,” said Adams. “You have the opportunity to reignite the energy with your young people and stand up and give a true history of what that statue represents in Columbus Circle. This is an opportunity to let people know of a rich, great history. These honorees are representatives of what’s great about this Italian American community. We need to capture the young people and let them know about this rich history, so I’m excited about holding this event every year.”
“It’s very important to learn about each culture to understand each person’s background,” added Chirico. “That’s what this event brings us. Other people get to experience Italian American culture at this event.”
Honored during the event were the Society of the Citizens of Pozzallo and organization President Giovanni Barone; Rossella Rago, host of “Cooking with Nonna;” and Thomas Sorrentino, a partner with PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP.