Kenner Italian Heritage Festival

The Kenner Italian Heritage Festival now in its 16th year in Rivertown and scheduled for April 1, 2 & 3 of 2016, will feature a display of historical memorabilia and photographs from Kenner’s Italian families, Italian and local music, children’s activities, genealogical research tutoring, crafts and delicious Italian food from local vendors.

CLICK HERE for the festival’s entertainment schedule.

The day was inspired by the rich Italian heritage and customs many Kenner residents share, such as the St. Rosalie Procession in Rivertown in September and the many St. Joseph altars in March of each year.

“The city of Kenner at one time was the center of the community for many Italian families,” said Nick Congemi, retired Kenner Police Chief and Chairman/Founder of the event. “Since that time, those families have grown; some have moved away and not returned to the culture and city they were raised in. We want to create a positive, community festival similar to a family reunion where people come to meet and enjoy each other’s company at least once a year.”

The area has historically been associated with Italians who were successful farmers and hard workers in many professions. Congemi’s uncle, Angelo Arnone, settled in Independence, Louisiana as did many other Italians, and recalled rail cars full of produce being shipped from Independence and Kenner to stores throughout the country.

“They brought a rich culture and served in every capacity within the community, from repairing shoes to producing the foods that we ate, which really distinguished this area,” Congemi said. “This area fed the nation when there was not irrigation in places like Florida and California.”

Because times have changed and families don’t stay as close as they once were, Congemi said people tend to forget their ancestors’ sacrifices, such as leaving their homeland to work at sugar plantations in Louisiana for fifty cents a day. The Kenner Italian Heritage Festival will pay tribute to their accomplishments by celebrating their culture and the specific contributions they brought to the community as a whole.

Our Local Publisher Partners

The Arts Council of New Orleans

The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

WWNO

WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at WWNO.org.

WWOZ

WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

PRC

Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

NOMA

As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

Southern Food

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

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