Our Lady Of Mt. Carmel Street Procession, 1962


This file appears in: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (West)
Our Lady Of Mt. Carmel Street Procession, 1962

Street processions were common in many European religious traditions. Italian immigrants preserved the customs and rituals surrounding these processions upon their arrival in Cleveland, and created a new Italian American tradition in the process.

In Italy, parishes held annual celebrations to honor the patron saints to which their church and town was dedicated. Since Italian immigrants generally chose to settle in communities and form societies with people from their own birthplace, they continued to hold annual celebrations honoring the patron saints of their villages. With each church having multiple societies, as well as their own patron saint, outdoor processions were a common affair during the summer months. Regularly accompanied by fireworks and bands, the festive celebrations attracted large crowds and became an important source of revenue for churches such as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Processions and festivals were also important for preserving Italian heritage, both in public memory and within the increasingly Americanized Italian community.

Photograph courtesy of Cleveland Public Library


This file appears in: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (West)