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The Villages
Thursday, February 22, 2024

‘Benvenuti Amici’ theme of Italian American Parade in Spanish Springs

Frank Truglio and wife June show off their decorated golf cart in anticipation of Tuesday's Italian American Parade in Spanish Springs Town Square.
Frank Truglio and wife June show off their decorated golf cart in anticipation of Tuesday’s Italian American Parade in Spanish Springs Town Square.

The theme of Tuesday’s Italian American Parade will be “Benvenuti Amici.”

Or in English, “Welcome Friends.”

The parade is scheduled to step off at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in Spanish Springs Town Square.

Volunteers in the resident-run parade will begin set up early Tuesday morning. A large crowd is anticipated and Villagers are encouraged to get out early and stake out their space in the square.

Those participating in the parade need to be in the staging area no later than 2 p.m.

Frank Truglio of the Village of Alhambra is serving as chairman of the Italian American Parade. He is vice president of the  Italian American Club in The Villages. The Italian American Club South and the Benvenuto Americans of Italian Heritage are also part of the parade.

Acts in the parade include popular Villages entertainer Mary Jo Vitale who will be singing in front of Luigino’s restaurant, the Villages Cheerleaders and the Knights of Columbus.

On Sunday, Truglio was putting the finishing touches on decorations for his golf cart.

The event will also underscore the friendship and cooperation between the Irish, German and Italian clubs in The Villages.

When all parades were abruptly canceled in The Villages, the clubs banded together and fought to keep the parades alive.

The clubs eventually appealed to the Amenity Authority Committee and won permission to stage parades in Spanish Springs Town Square — providing volunteers did all of the work.

The Irish parade was staged in March, staffed completely by volunteers, and was a huge success.

Next up will be the German Oktoberfest Parade on Oct. 22 in Spanish Springs Town Square.

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