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We Built Rome...In One Day

Saturday morning greeted Rome Through Richmond Town with a cool, apathetic drizzle that grumbled, "Washout." Dozens of tents dripped as they waited to face a lonely afternoon distinguished by deserted streets. A bit of hope came with the early chill. Despite the rain, hundreds of cultural representatives marched onto the museum grounds. They turned their backs to the weather and got busy. Exhibits unfolded. Museum displays popped up. Videos flickered to life.

BP Oddo, Sen. Savino & NicotrasBP Oddo and Sen. Savino took a courageous step. They were backed by the generosity of the Nicotras and other sponsors.

These culture warriors dodged the raindrops to share their perspectives on Italian heritage. They also brought good cheer and laughter to the historic streets of Richmond Town. Casa Belvedere, Staten Island Museum, Italian-American Women of SI, Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, Order Sons of Italy, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, St. George Theater, Sundog Theater and over 35 other organizations braved the rain. Their efforts mirrored the tenacious spirit of Italian culture. You could sense their dedication and passion. It reached every corner of the site.

As it drew closer to 12 noon, the event organizers and sponsors gathered around Staten Island Borough President Jim Oddo. The BP had his smart phone out. When would the rain stop?

The Borough President had taken a courageous and risky step. After hearing from local merchants, parade participants and the general public (think what you want, but Oddo is a noted good listener) he discovered that the Columbus Day Parade inconvenienced the community, hurt local small businesses, and was poorly attended. In addition, it was the only parade completely funded by tax dollars. The BP decided this was not the best way to celebrate Columbus or the holiday.

Wouldn't it be better government to relaunch the parade into something more significant, with greater depth and culture? Couldn't we have a celebration that lasted hours instead of minutes? Why not an event which presented the multi-faceted heritage of Italians? And yes, Christopher Columbus could attend - live - to answer questions and share his perspective! This would be far more productive than a passing parade. Senator Diane Savino agreed with the BP (from the opposite political party, mind you) and came out in public support.

Polizia di StatoPolizia di Stato at Rome Through Richmond Town!

The naysayers shouted, "Impossible!" The pessimists hissed, "No, no good!" The BP and Senator were accused of ruining the holiday. Then something wonderful happened. Lois & Richard Nicotra, Phil & Len Rampulla, Jerry Amerosi, Ray Masucci, Mike Menicucci, Bob Cutrona and businesses like Cangiano Estates, Broadway Stages, Touchstone Health, Angelina's Ristorante and others showed their support - like so many Italian-Americans before them - and said, "YES!" They believed that Oddo and Savino were doing something transformative and good. They answered the call for assistance. And to show it, they backed it with their checkbooks.

Now, it was show time - festival day. Michael Amante and Joe Piscopo were to perform; authors Joe Squatrito and Prof. Fred Gardaphe were to lecture; chefs Max Colicchio and Eddie Gomez were to demonstrate In Cucina. This was not going to be a ten block parade but the biggest and best celebration of Italian culture Staten Island had ever seen. But who would come?

Just before noon the rain was still coming down in spurts. Privately, the BP and Senator shared their gratitude to the sponsors, elected officials and the board members of Historic Richmond Town, thanking them for their help in making the event possible. The BP checked the local radar. Suddenly, he looked up and showed everyone the map on his display, "Wait. It looks good."

Rome AudienceGuests wait for Joe Piscopo to perform.

"I have the same," said someone waving their phone.

"Me too," a third voice confirmed.

The organizers looked out from under the canopy and gazed heavenward. Someone was smiling from above. The sky faucet squeaked closed. The rain sputtered to a stop. It was very cloudy. But it was wonderfully dry.

pisaExec. Dir. Ed Wiseman & BP Jim Oddo become keepers of the Tower!  Notice one of our newsies on the left side of the photo.  These young interpreters were handing out copies of early 20th century Staten Island Advance pages.Jim Oddo, Diane Savino and friends stepped into the historic streets. They were greeted with smiling faces and pats on the back. Who needed the sun? The day was brightened by an Italian-American festival ready to shine.

Excited exhibitors began to share their beautiful displays with guests as they trickled in. Twenty members of Polizia di Stato, all the way from Italy, roamed through the festival in full uniform, greeting everyone, conversing in Italian and English. These men and women hailed from a number of Italian towns and villages. They brought a hometown reality to the event, making connections with guests who heard stories from the places of their ancestors.

Despite the chill, the clouds and controversy, the crowds continued to come. At first by the hundreds and then by thousands. At one point, it was difficult to pass through the center of town without bumping into the nine-foot replica of the Tower of Pisa. What was once a parade that drew a few hundred was now a five-hour cultural collaboration enjoyed by almost four thousand.

By five o'clock the crowds had their taste of Italia and were satisfied. They had seen the performances. They took in the exhibits. They heard the lectures. They walked through the 50th Anniversary of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. They created their own handmade pizzas. They discussed America with Christopher Columbus.

And after they had a homemade sausage and pepper sandwich from the only eatery offering them - Montalbano's, a third generation local pork store - they went home, smiling.

The day ended better than anyone expected. Uh, well...we hope no one was upset about not finding any zeppolis. Never mind, let's not be negative.


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All American Drive-In Film Awards

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This year we brought back the All-American Drive-In for six nights in August. Thanks to the Northfield Bank Foundation we doubled our screen size to 40 feet.  Stereo sound was area-cast on FM so every vehicle will have a super experience.  In addition, loudspeakers brought the sound to those hanging out at the snack bar or at the picnic tables up front.

It was the super seventies at Historic Richmond Town brought to you by Rab's Country Lanes.  Three big, popular films!  Plus present-day short films.  What a mix of madness and fun on one big screen!  It was hours and hours of amusement for the whole family. With a snack bar filled with candies you remember and love.

Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about the Drive-In and our other events.


A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS

• Spots created by the All American Drive-In Committee •

      

      

 


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Our All American Drive-In guests saw some of the best and most innovative independent short films produced today.  These films transform the All American Drive-in an international film fest.  So for the price of one ticket you saw a classic popular film rarely projected on a huge screen and cool cutting edge films that you can't see anywhere else.  

Our committee was led by eight-time Emmy Award winning director and producer, Ed Wiseman and its members were young filmmakers and museum staff.


All American Drive-In Awards


These two top winners were revealed during the Drive-In on the first night each winning film was screened. The winners received a $500.00 US Savings Bond. 


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• Best Film Award •

Directionless

by James Button


Moon Roof

• Best High School Film Award •

Good Hair

by Joy Sunday Okun


 Official Selections


A large number of talented filmmakers wanted to park their film at the Drive-In. Over 1000 films from around the world were submitted!  It took a lot of serious judging by our committee of award winning professional filmmakers and culture geeks to whittle down the long list to a select few.  But we did it! 

Congratulations to the following films that were selected be screened at the Drive-In.   


The Bridge

Split Time

Beautiful Hair

Old Timer

The Sweet Life


The Champ

Snow Boat

Goldie

Tiki Hot

Strike:The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told


Confessions of a Comic Book Nerd

A Fish Called Keith

S is for Bird

Jump

Cartoon Away

Directionless


A Shot in the Dark

The Visitant

Shhh


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Diane Senerchia, Executive Director, Northfield Bank Foundation presents
a check f
or the 40 foot screen to members of the Drive-In Committee.

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The All-American Drive-In Committee

Decker Farm Pumpkin Picking Weekends

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OCTOBER WEEKENDS

11 AM - 4 PM

Please note: Decker Farm will be closed on Saturday, October 11, so we can celebrate Rome Through Richmond Town.  Please join us for this FREE event at our main Richmondtown site and have a taste of Italiana!


 $5 - Adults  &  Children (over 1 yr old)

$16 Family Four Pack


All tickets sold at the door!


Enjoy a day filled with family fun on the historic early 1800s Decker Farm.  

Take our farmhouse tour.

Join a hayride.

Stalk the cornstalk maze.

Get creative with fun arts and crafts.

Have your face painted.

And take home a pumpkin!


Free shuttle bus service from the Historic Richmond Town parking lot to the Farm.


If you are interested in being a sponsor or a volunteer, contact (718) 351-1611 x245 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


 Click below for each date


Oct 4    Oct 5    Oct 11    Oct 12    Oct 13    Oct 18    Oct 19   Oct 25    Oct 26


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PumpkinsKidsDeckerFarm

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CLICK ON OPPORTUNITIES


 CONTESTANTS     JUDGES    SPONSORS      VENDORS     VOLUNTEERS


Be Cool. Be Clean.

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In cooperation with the Office of the Staten Island Borough President Jim Oddo and NYC Council Member Steve Matteo we support the anti-littering campaign for Staten Island.  Our four museum sites are targets for litter and carelessness year-round.  We spend a tremendous amount of resources trying to clear litter and debris from our sites.  These cleanups divert staff, volunteers and funds away from our mission to preserve American history and share it with children and visitors.

Littering drags down our entire community. It wastes time and money.  Let's be cool.  Let's be clean.  Keep SI Clean.  

Here's a video we created that makes that point.

Keep SI Clean.

 

Richmond County Fair

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PRESENTS

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LABOR DAY WEEKEND

SATURDAY   •   SUNDAY   •   MONDAY

    August 30th     •     August 31st    •    September 1st

11 AM - 6 PM


VIEW PROGRAM


RAIN or SHINE


FREE SHUTTLE FROM SI MALL!


Adults and Children over 30" - $16

Seniors 65 and older - $11

Children 30" and under - FREE! -


 The Fair raises funds to support the educational programs at Historic Richmond Town.


NEW THINGS TO DO AND SEE!

RCF - Monster Zip Line 

RCF - big rock wall

RCF - Beer Garden

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RCF -Doghouse Auction

 

RCF - Food Court

PLUS!

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All ticket sales final. Rain or shine event.

RCF 2014 - Admissions


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Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new:

 

  • Monster 300 Foot Double Zip Line - fly through the air!

  • Doghouse Auction & Barkitecture Competition (sponsored by NARI-HIC) - the best little doghouses in NYS - custom made!

  • Beer Garden - Craft Beers and munchies!

  • Quiet Clubbing - the latest way to get your head into music.

  • Knife Throwing Performance  - real knives, real people, real danger!

  • 50th Anniversary Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Exhibit - in partnership with the MTA.

  • Pony Grooming and Care - hands-on lessons!

  • Classical Stage - choral, opera, orchestra and Philharmonic.

  • Food Court - grab a bite, listen to music, relax.

 


 

In addition to the new attractions, the old favorites are back like stunt shows, races, contests and lots of music:

 

  • Air Dogs - they howl through the air with the greatest of ease.

  • Street Performers - juggling, magic and imagination.

  • BMX Stunt Show - ramped up air tricks and big landings.

  • Five Stages of Music and Entertainment:

    • Goldmine Music Stage - your favorite tunes from yesterday and today.

    • Pandora Entertainment Stage - local talent shines!

    • AWE Rock Stage - music for the young and restless.

    • Acoustic Stage - smooth sounds.

    • Classical Stage - choral, opera, orchestra and Philharmonic.

  • Hot Dog and Pie Eating Contests - gulp!

  • Old-Fashioned Crafts - the Tinsmith and Cooper are in the house!

  • Unlimited Amusement Rides - up, down and all around, again and again.

  • Richmond Beach - sand toys and sun.

  • Exhibits & Demonstrations - old fashioned fun.

  • The Old Time Souvenir Photo Booth - expanded!

  • Photo & Baking Contests - win a blue ribbon!

  • County Fair Races, contests and acts of agility!

  • Fire Trucks and Classic Cars.

  • County Fair Food!

  • Games of Chance!

  • Souvenirs and Merchandise.

 


LABOR DAY WEEKEND
(click on day below to buy tickets!)

SATURDAY   •   SUNDAY   •   MONDAY

    August 30th     •     August 31st    •    September 1st

11 AM - 6 PM

RAIN or SHINE


Adults and Children over 30" - $12($16 at the door)

Seniors 65 and older - $10 - ($11 at the door)

Children 30" and under - FREE! -


 The Fair raises funds to support the educational programs at Historic Richmond Town.



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call    718 • 351 • 1611

Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Avenue

Staten Island, NY • 10306


Sponsors

Goldmine - Official Jeweler

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Pizza Making with the Crutronas at Barrio's. #RomeThroughRichmondTown @ Historic Richmond Town instagram.com/p/uLx7ewrkC_/

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