Easton’s Holy Cross Society holds 104th celebration

 KJ Frantz | For lehighvalleylive.com By KJ Frantz | For lehighvalleylive.com
on September 09, 2015 at 12:14 PM, updated September 10, 2015 at 1:21 PM

The Holy Cross Society of Easton is gearing up for its 104th Holy Cross Italian Festival and Celebration this weekend at the park in Williams Township.

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Madison Panto (Courtesy photo)

Held Friday through Sunday, the festival includes nightly entertainment, food and traditional events like the crowing of the Celebration Queen, a recitation of the rosary and a procession.

Festivities get underway at 6 p.m. Friday. Live entertainment by Inch and the Echos is scheduled 7 to 10 p.m.

The grounds at Cedarville and Morgan Hill roads, just off Interstate 78, open Saturday at 5 p.m. Musical entertainment begins at 7 p.m. with King Henry and the Showmen.

At 9 p.m., the Celebration Queen ceremonies take place followed by more music and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Festivities begin at 2 p.m. Sunday with a rosary recitation and procession at 3 p.m. Music will be by I’Bonanni. At 6 p.m., the band Tower Suite takes the stage.

Founded in 1911 by Easton men and women who migrated from Santo Stefano di Camastra, in the Province of Messina, Sicily, the Holy Cross Society upholds and celebrates the cultural traditions of its ancestors. Organizers say many of the descendants of the founders continue the Sicilian traditions and celebrate their heritage at the festival.

Under society tradition, the Celebration Queen must be a descendant of one the founders. This year’s queen is Madison Panto.

She is the daughter of Gregory and Kim Panto, of Easton. She is the granddaughter of Salvatore Panto Jr. and Pam (Piperato) Panto. She is the great-granddaughter of Salvatore Panto Sr. and the late Mary (Mussillami) Panto.

Madison is also the granddaughter of James and Patricia Shade, Redge and Geraldine Snyder and Kenneth Burcaw.

A junior majoring in dance at Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, in Bethlehem, Madison studies dance at Miss Pat’s Stage Door Studio in Wilson Borough. She is a founder of the debate club at her school and has been involved in the Holy Cross Society celebration since she was young.

Her court includes attendants Gabriella Duffy (Sottosanti), Maria Margaret Murray (Frinzi and Boccadoro families) and Brianna Nigrone. Junior attendants are Paige Panto and Sofia Rose Bruneo. Flower girls are Isabella Holschwander and Emily Holschwander (Piscitello), and the crown-bearer is Parker T. Nicolosi.

Email KJ Frantz at kjfrantz@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow lehighvalleylive.com on Twitter at @lehighvalley. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

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