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Monfredo: Rob Pezzella Named Grand Marshall of Columbus Day Parade

Sunday, October 02, 2016


Worcester’s 22nd annual fun-filled Columbus Day Parade will be on Sunday October 9th starting  at 12:00 P.M.  The parade will begin at the corner of Aitchison Street and the parade will march down Shrewsbury Street to Washington Square.   According to Judy Verdini, Chair of the event, “the parade is a time to honor and celebrate our Italian ancestors who despite extreme adversity, prejudice, and suffering upon arriving in this country, showed determination and strength to not only build successful lives for themselves and their families, but also to contribute in building a strong and successful nation that honors and respects people of all nations.”  She went on to say "Family" is the key word of this event for the parade committee's mission is to organize a family event and we welcome all community groups and organizations to participate.” Other hard working members of the committee are David Lamusta, Bill Gagnon, Paul Verdini, and Joe Verdini.

 It is only fitting that the theme of this year’s parade is “Crossroads of Life” which symbolizes the journey that we all make into the future. Leading the way will be Grand Marshall Robert Pezzella, director of the School Safety program in the Worcester Public Schools. Better known as Rob, he started his career as the School Safety Liaison in 1997 when increased gang activity was beginning to affect our schools and our community.

In his role as Safety Officer he has had to form a partnership with the Worcester Police Department, social agencies and work hand in hand with the district’s school principals. The difficult part of the position is that on any given day something could happen. There are no guidelines to keeping our schools safe. Violence and the human behavior of others are unpredictable.

As Rob stated,  “I must always be alert and vigilant for an unexpected incident could impact not only one particular institution, but the entire school district and maybe even the community at large.”

Rob has had a career of giving to the community for he served as Executive Assistant to former Mayor of Worcester, Ray Mariano (also a Grand Marshall in 2013). This past year Rob was honored by Youth Opportunities Unlimited with the first “Change Maker for Children Award” during their eighth annual Gala Ball for Kids.

Rob’s hobbies include working out at the local gyms, watching sports events, and attending his sons’ athletic high school and college events.  He is an avid reader and enjoys reading about current event and politics on a daily basis.  Has been involved in local politics and is the former founder of the East Side Neighborhood Association.

As a former recipient of this award, I have found Rob Pezzella to be a most worthy heir of this award.  He is a person of integrity, has a strong work ethic, a vision, and is always ready to assist anyone in need. He takes what he does very seriously for his job is to keep our students protected at all times and as he stated, “It’s essential that I do what I can to  protect and meet the ever changing risk our schools face daily. “

Everyone knows that nationwide we are experiencing problems when it comes to keeping our community out of harm’s way… but Rob never backs away from this responsibility. This has been his life long undertaking … making our schools secure for all of our students and staff.   

Congratulations to this year’s Grand Marshall – Rob Pezzella!


Related Slideshow: 25 Can’t Miss Fall Festivals in New England - 2016

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September 10

6th Annual Rhode Island Seafood Festival 

Providence, RI

The 6th Annual Seafood Festival brings together local seafood purveyors  as well as beer, wine and spirits from Ocean State producers. 

The festival begins Saturday a 11 a.m. 

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September 10

Celtic Rock Festival at Alex & Ani Plaza 

Providence, RI

Saturday September 10th marks the arrival of the Celtic Rock Festival to Providence. Previously held at the Newport Yachting Center, it’s the first time the popular festival is being held in the capital city.

The festival begins at 2:30 p.m. 

Check out Ken Abrams Interview with Eileen Ivers here. 

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September 10

ACT Harvest Festival 2016

Celebrate the culmination of Aquidneck Community Table's 2016 Food Challenge and the high point of the growing season on the lawn of the Great Friends Meeting House! Please bring picnic supplies (blankets, plates, cutlery) and food to share.

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September 11

New England Festival of Hope at Easton's Beach 

Newport, RI

This year's festival is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks. 

The speakers at this year's festival include Dwight Evans, Hall of Famer Red Sox Right Fielder & his wife Susan Severson; 
Kevin Robinson (K-Rob), BMX Guiness World Record Holder, New England Revolutions Midfielder Teal Bunberry, RI Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, City of Newport Vice Chair Marco T. Camacho, representatives from local Police and Fire Departments, and the Navy Band Northeast Ceremonial Band.

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September 18

1st Annual End of Summer Lobster & Clam Boil at Harbor Lights

Warwick Neck, RI

Harbor Lights will be hosting its first and what will become an annual tradition -- an end of the summer clambake.  

On Sunday, September 18 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Chef Ray Fiske will offer a New England style Lobster and Clam boil taking place at the Tiki Bar at Harbor Lights. 

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Sept. 26 - Oct. 2

The Big E 

West Springfield, MA

The Big E is celebrating their 100th year in existence and this year they bring in entertainment from Electric Equinox, Lee Brice and the Kings. 

Sample food and enjoy rides, games, horse shows, historical exhibits and more. 

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September 16 & 17

Wormtown Music Festival at Camp Keewanee

Greenfield, MA

A three day long concert featuring bands, a community bonfire,craft vendors and more.

Kids 15 and under are FREE to the event. 

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September 16-18

Misquamicut Fall Festival

Misquamicut Beach, RI 

The festival features surfing Surf, sun, sand, games, rides, Ferris wheel, amusements, food, music, arts and crafts and so much more. Fire jugglers, magicians, knocker ball and all kinds of nonstop entertainment including a special wrestling match as well as stunt bike show.

There is free parking and admission is $7. 

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September 17

Ocean State Oyster Festival at Riverwalk Park

Providence, RI

The Ocean State Oyster Festival hopes to raise awareness and celebrate RI’s aquaculture industry. 

The festival will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Providence. 

The festival will feature fine local food, beer, wine, and refreshments, local bands & DJs, activities for kids, culinary exhibitors, educational exhibits, a shucking contest. 

Purchasing a general admission ticket gets you a half dozen oysters and an ice cold drink of your choice. 

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September 23-24

2016 Fitchburg Gree Festival 

Fitchburg, MA

The 2016 festival begins at 5 p.m. on September 23 and comes to a close at 10 p.m. on September 24. 

The festival will feature an outdoor bar area, a menu including mezedes, greek BBQ and pastries, vendors, music and dance. 

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September 24

Burke Mountain Fall Foliage Festival

Burke, Vermont

The Burke Mountain Fall Foliage Festival is one of the biggest festivals of the year.

Events at the festival include a parade starting at 10 a.m., a farm animal petting zoo, horse drawn carriage rides, a beer and wine tent open from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and live music by Tritium Well from 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

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September 24

Phantom Gourmet Food Festival next to Fenway 

Boston, MA

The Phantom Gourmet Food Festival is set for September 24 from noon to 4 p.m. right outside of Fenway Park. 

Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the event. 

The ticket includes sampling 100 of Phantom's foods from hot dogs and pizza to pulled pork and more.

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September 24 & 25

26th Annual KidsFest 

Wachusett Mountain, MA 

The festival runs from 10 a.m. on the 24 to 5 p.m. at September 25. 

The festival will include entertainment from the Xpogo Stunt Team, Rainforest Reptile Shows Inc. and a Baby Animal Petting Zoo.

There will also be sample skiing and a USA Ninja Warrior Challenge Course. 

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September 24 & 25

International Oktoberfest at Alex & Ani Center 

Providence, RI

International Oktoberfest will take pace at the Alex & Ani Center in Providence on Saturday, September 24 and 25. 

The festival will include seasonal beer, German cuisine and live music. 

One of the main events of the fall season in all of New England. 

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September 25

Pawtucket Arts Festival 

Bristol, RI

The Pawtucket Arts Festival in Bristol is currently going on and you don't want to miss out.The festival runs through September 25. 

The festival celebrates creative and cultural life in the City of Pawtucket by presenting vibrant arts events during the month of September for resident audiences and for visitors to the City and the Blackstone River Valley. 

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September 25

Ocean State Beer Festival 

Pawtucket, RI 

The 2nd Ocean State Beer Festival will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 25 at Foolproof Brewing Company. 

The festival will feature beer from breweries around Rhode Island. 

The festival is hosted by the Rhode Island Brewer’s Guild. 

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Sept. 30 - Oct 1

Harpoon Octoberfest at Harpoon Brewery 

Boston, Ma

Harpoon Brewery will put on their Octoberfest from 5:30 p.m. at September 30 at October 1 at 7 p.m. 

Entrance into the festival is $25 and includes a souvenir pint glass and your first beer. 

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October 1-2

Freeport Fall Festival 

Freeport, Maine 

The Freeport Fall Festival kicks off it’s 18 year on October 1 and continuing on October 2 from 11 am. to 4 p.m. 

The festival will feature more than 100 artists showing off their working ranging from photography oil, watercolor, mixed media and much more. 


The festival is hosted on the L.L. Bean Campus. 

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Oct. 6 - Nov. 6

Roger Williams Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular 

This annual event, created by artists and craftsmen of Passion for Pumpkins, and features 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns, with over 125 of them artistically carved and displayed in scenes to play out the annual theme. 

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October 8-9

Annual Fall Festival Weekend - Sunday River

Newry, Maine 

The annual Fall Festival Weekend welcomes the start of a new season with live music every day, a crafts fair and some friendly competiton. 

That competition includes the 17th Annual North American Wife Carrying Competition where teams will compete and winners will receive the wife's weight in beer and five times her weight in cash. 

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October 8-10

Columbus Day Festival on Federal HIll 

Providence, RI 

The annual Columbus Day Festival on Federal Hill is ready to take place once agains featuring three days of Italian music, food and entertainment. 

The opening ceremony will take place on Saturday October 8 at noon. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday October 9. 

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October 15

New Hampshire Brewfest at Redhook Ale Brewery 

Portsmouth, NH

The New Hampshire Brewfest will take place at Red Hook Ale Brewery from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Try out over 100 beers from 31 different craft breweries. 

The afternoon session goes from 1-4 p.m., the evening session goes from 6-9 p.m.

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Oct 21-30

2016 Vermont International Film Festival 

The 2016 Vermont International Film Festival is set to take place from October 21 to October 30. 

The festival will feature films from all over the world 

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October 22

7th Annual Fall Harvest Celebration at Patriot Place

Foxboro, MA 

The festival is great for families and it will include pumpkin painting, hayrides, live music an a lot more.

The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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October 23

King Richard's Faire

Carver, Massachusetts

Dive into history at King Richard's Faire, New England's oldest and largest Renaissance Festival and most beloved annual fall event. Dress up, play games and learn alot at a faire that is a great fall event for the entire family.

The Faire started on September 3 and October 23 is the final day. 


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