DANBURY, Conn. — It's not just Columbus Day, or even just Columbus weekend, this year in Danbury. When city officials were joined by members of the Amerigo Vespucci Lodge to raise the Italian flag at City Hall on Saturday morning, it was the kickoff to a week of celebrations.
The "First Lady of the Italian club," Anna Tropeano, was one of the first to arrive at City Hall for the Saturday morning events. Her husband, Bruno, is president of Amerigo Vespucci Lodge #160 in Danbury.
Anna was already looking ahead to the week's events. After the flag raising, club members were heading to the club for coffee and doughnuts. Then, Friday, the grand finale to the Columbus celebrations will take place.
"We're having the dinner Friday," Anna said. "Special music, cocktail hour at 7, dinner at 8 p.m. with three choices."
Warm greetings were exchanged as more club members arrived, some wearing jackets with ITALIA proudly displayed across the front.
The crowd gathered on Heritage Plaza in front of City Hall. Mayor Mark Boughton emerged from City Hall to welcome everyone.
"Every day, we drink from the well that was dug by the people that came before us," Boughton said. "This is a day to recognize the contribution of Italian Americans to our community. Danbury would not be the city it is today without them."
Tony Scalzo, vice president of the club, spoke about the investment that the Italian community has made in the city.
"We have re-invested in town. We should be proud to be Americans, Italians, and most of all, Danburians." he said.
For more information about the Italian club, Amerigo Vespucci Lodge #160, visit www.sonsofitaly.org .