Arts & Entertainment

Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade Committee holds annual Taste of Italy Fundraiser

Honorees gathered at the annual Taste of Italy, fundraiser hosted by the Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade Committee at the Nutley Parks and Recreation building. The parade will be held on Oct. 8. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi / Staff Photographer
Nutley High School students fill their dishes at the annual event. From left, Alexis Gomez, Felisha Colavito, Maria Gencarelli and Alexis Cuccinello. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi / Staff Photographer
Tommy Strumolo, 7, son of Nutley Man of the Year Police Chief Thomas Strumolo, places a meatball on his plate. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi / Staff Photographer
Nutley and Belleville Men of the Year Police Chiefs Thomas Strumolo and Mark Minichini meet up at Taste of Italy. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi / Staff Photographer
Italian Heritage Award honoree Dr. Louis Crupi with his wife, Dee and his daughter, Dr. Nicole Crupi enjoy the afternoon at Taste of Italy in Nutley. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi / Staff Photographer
Committee member Susan LaMorte and volunteer Dakota Laguori raffle off a lottery/cash apron at the annual Taste of Italy fundraiser. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi / Staff Photographer
Renaissance Award honoree Henry Meola, at left, is joined with friends and family from left Jose Rivera, Nardine Meola, Diana Valiante and Jean Olney. Credits: Deborah Ann Tripoldi / Staff Photographer

NUTLEY, NJ - The smell of Italian food came billowing out of Nutley’s Parks and Recreation Building on 44 Park Ave. when the Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade Committee held their annual Taste of Italy Fundraiser..

Trays of food such as sausage and peppers, eggplant parmigiana and rollatini, penne vodka, balsamic glazed sausage, chicken marsala and francaise, ziti and meatballs lined the walls. Over 40 area restaurants and bakeries including the Belleville High School culinary arts students fed over 270 people in the gymnasium. 

Some of the many restaurants were Ralph’s Pizzeria, Ferulli’s Pizzeria, Mamma Vittoria Catering, Michael’s Pasteria, Nanina’s in the Park, Diamond Springs, Algieri’s Pizza from both Belleville and Nutley and Bella Napoli and Taste of Tuscany in neighboring Bloomfield and Clifton. Even burritos from Nutley’s Pancho’s Burritos and pretzels from Philly Pretzel Factory joined in on the fundraiser.

Sign Up for E-News

The event was BYOB and just about every table had red wine to complement their dinner. Many brought their homemade wines with them to share with friends and families at their table.

The event helps raise money for the October parade and also spotlights the honorees. For the first time this year there are no Bella Signorine due to a lack of responses according event chair Vito Matturo of Nutley. However the organization will be raising funds for a scholarship. “There will be a scholarship this year for a Belleville High School and a Nutley High School student studying Italian heritage or arts,” said Matturo.

This year’s parade dignitaries are Grand Marshall Al Lembo Jr., Nutley Man of the Year Police Chief Thomas Strumolo, Belleville Man of the Year Belleville Police Chief Mark Minichini, Nutley Woman of the Year Marie Vecchiarelli, Belleville Woman of the Year Cindy Sica, Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Anthony Iannarone, Italian Heritage Award honoree Dr. Louis Crupi, Italian Business Leader John Apicella, Renaissance Award honoree Henry Meola and Community Excellence Award honoree Ruth Bedford.

“This is our largest event of the year. [The Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade] is the largest parade in Essex County,” said Matturo. Matturo claims this is the only Columbus Day Parade in the county as well.

The Rev. Tom Nicastro gave the invocation. “We come together to celebrate our Italian heritage, culture and tradition,” he added.

Matturo thanked the fellow committee members for putting the event together. He also recognized both the Nutley and Belleville mayors Joseph P. Scarpelli and Raymond Kimble, respectively.

“It’s a big honor, a great honor,” said Meola. “It’s definitely a great honor to be chosen. I thank the committee for selecting me for the parade,” said Strumolo. “It’s a great honor to be recognized,” added Crupi. “I am very humbled and honored to be recognized by the parade committee. It’s a wonderful event in my life and my family’s and I’m glad to be here to cherish it,” said Minichini. “I really think it’s one of the highlight events of the year. It’s a terrific value and you’re helping a charity,” continued Iannarone.

Columbus Day Parade Committee officers for 2017 are Chairman Bill Freda, Vice Chairman Ben Costa, Secretary Rosemary Costa, Treasurer Barbara Freda and Trustee Edie Peters Liguori. Members include Taste of Italy Chair Vito Matturro, Co-Chair Melissa Matturro, Diane Stanzione, Susan LaMorte, Pasquale Meola, Joe Gencarelli, Vincent Cozzarelli, John Kelly, Anthony Santasari and The Rev. Thomas Nicastro.

The Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade will be held Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m. The parade will kick-off from Belleville High School on Passaic Avenue, proceeding north to Joralemon Street to Franklin Avenue toward Nutley. The viewing stand will be stationed in front of John H. Walker Middle School.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Happy St. Patrick's Day from

March 17, 2018 is a network of more than 70 franchised online local newspapers in New Jersey and New York with more than 7M readers during the last year. We provide original local news reporting 24/7 for the communities we serve, as well as a full-service events calendar, real estate listings, business directory, classifieds, and much, much more. Readers can receive FREE enews at ...

Nutley PBA to host Comedy Beefsteak May 19

NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley Police Benevolent Association Local No. 33 will host their 9th Annual May 19 at the Nutley Elks Lodge.

Tickets for the event at $60 and include beefsteak, salad, fries, beer and soda. Guests will be entertained by the comedic talent of Jamie Roberts. 

For tickets: PJ Saldomenico 973-392-9224 or Alan Ballester 973-277-0520

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 17, 1:30 PM

Nutley High School , Nutley

Nutley Music Boosters Cafe Night

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sat, March 17, 4:30 PM

Nutley High School , Nutley

Nutley Music Boosters Cafe Night

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sat, March 17, 8:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Strollers' Present John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

Arts & Entertainment


Sun, March 18, 9:00 AM


Nutley Crew Dedication Ceremony



Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Maplewood Strollers Present John Patrick ...

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, March 19, 5:30 PM

Nutley Parks and Recreation , nutley

Shrek Jr. Auditions and Callback Date Change

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, March 19, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Nutley Public Schools March 12 School Security Update

March 12, 2018

Dear Nutley Parents, Staff and Community,

In our efforts to keep the community updated regarding safety and security, I wanted to reach out with another update.

On Monday, March 5, the Nutley Board of Education arranged for a leadership group from the district to meet with a team from Homeland Security including representatives from the Office of Emergency Management, the State Police, the ...

Nutley Public School Year Calendar Clarification

Dear Nutley Staff, Parents and Community,

As you know, we have now used five emergency closing days, one more than we were allotted for the 2017-2018 school year.

It was brought to our attention, prior to this week's snow storm, that due to the timing of Good Friday with Spring Break, the district scheduled to take days away from the beginning of the Spring Break rather than from the ...


Prism Capital Partners, ON3 to Host Suburban Revitalization Forum March 8 in Nutley

March 6, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - Prism Capital Partners and On3 will present the second part of a Suburban Revitalization Forum on March 8 in the auditorium of Building 200 on the ON3 campus. Each forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. 

Part two of the series, March 8,will discuss ways redevelopment can be tailored to take advantage of the demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle changes and ...

Speaker Added to March 8 Suburban Revitalization Forum - Chris Porter

NUTLEY, NJ - A Suburban Revitalization Forum will be presented by Prism Capital Partners and ON3 on March 5 and 8 at 6:30 p.m. on the ON3 campus, in the auditorium of Building 200 on Metro Boulevard, 340 Kingsland Street, Nutley.

The two-part series will feature nationally recognized speakers who will examine trends in urban planning and future growth as New ...

Six-Year-Old Discovered Sleeping Unattended on West Orange School Bus

March 17, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — When a bus driver employed by the Hunterdon County Educational Service Commission, which performs certain bus runs for the West Orange School District, failed to perform the mandatory inspection of his bus after dropping students off at Redwood Elementary School and returning to the bus depot on Friday morning, the district confirmed that a 6-year-old student had ...

Hundreds of Montclair Students Walk Out in Protest of Gun Violence

MONTCLAIR, NJ - All across the country, there were 17-minute protests, where students exited their classes at 10 a.m. in honor of the children recently shot in a Florida School. This was also in an effort to bring awareness about gun violence, and perhaps put some pressure on Congress to approve gun control legislation.

A recent school massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in ...

Rutgers Student on Front Lines of Orangutan Conservation, Research

March 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Deep in a tropical forest in Borneo 15 years ago, Rutgers student Didik Prasetyo first encountered a young male orangutan that he named “Jerry.”

The great ape was one of several orangutans that Prasetyo and other researchers followed at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Station in the Mawas Conservation Area in Indonesia. Prasetyo was skeptical when colleagues said ...

Fairytale Marriage Proposal Takes Center Stage at St. Patrick’s Day Parade

SOMERVILLE, NJ – A surprise engagement took center stage at last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Somerville. In the midst of the March 11 festivities, Piscataway resident Steven Verardi boarded a float and popped the question to his girlfriend Elise Latona, marking the first known engagement to take place at the parade in 27 years.

Since opening The Beauty Bar ...

Belmar’s Treasured Doughboy Statue Soon to Be Heading West for $18,000 Repair Project

March 11, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Belmar’s beloved “Doughboy” will soon be leaving town.

The 88-year-old statue will be removed from its base in Memorial Field and transported about 45 minutes away westbound to the Seward Johnson Atelier in Hamilton, where it will be repaired — nearly a year after a fundraising campaign was launched to fund the effort.

Through a groundswell of ...

Nutley Police Department Blotter March 3 - March 9, 2018

March 10, 2018

The Police Blotter is compiled each week by Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari of the Crime Intelligence Public Information Division of the Nutley Police Department.

Please note:  All parties placed under arrest have been assigned a court date and remain innocent until proven guilty of those charges at their respective hearing

Anyone who has information about any crimes can send a (non ...

Pro Staff Institute announces partnership with Uber Health

NUTLEY, NJ - Pro Staff Institute is proud to announce their participation in Uber Health, a new transportation program designed to provide transportation to patients. Pro Staff Institute is the first physical therapy center in the nation to leverage Uber Health, and joins over other 100 health care organizations in the U.S., including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers and senior care ...

The Negative Effects Of Prolonged Sitting And Workplace Tips From Pro Staff Physical Therapy

In recent years, media outlets have described sitting as the new smoking. This may seem like a stretch, but once you break that statement down it carries some truth. Cigarettes were not thought to be the cause of lung cancer and other serious diseases until the 1950s. Like the cigarette industry in the 1920s, the effects of prolonged sitting throughout the workday has largely been ignored and ...

The Other Way NFSB Feeds Families

I remember how my teenage pride swelled the first time a friend confided in me for emotional support. Before long, my phone was clogged nightly as friends tapped my unearthed talent to lament breakups, or collapse under academic expectation. Because therapy was in the shadows then, and often thought of as a crutch for the “sick” or the “weak,” parents never sought ...

Educational Leadership with Coach Tom Gargiulo

Learn some of the secrets of high-performing teachers and students with “Coach” Tom Gargiulo on Thursday, March 1st at 7:00 p.m. Motivate yourself and others with time-tested tips and strategies presented by Coach Tom in a lively and interactive manner. Mr. “G” is in his 28th year of teaching and coaching and teaches Physical Education at ...

Nutley United Soccer Club - Spring Season

The Nutley United Soccer Club is the travel division of the soccer program offered by the Nutley Parks & Recreation Department directed by Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci. Teams play in the very competitive Northern Counties Soccer Association against towns in Northern NJ and Lower NY State. The travel soccer program offers a high level of instruction by professional trainers and experienced ...

Registration for Spring Tennis Lessons Now Open

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announces Spring Tennis Lesson registration is now open!  The Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation offers a top quality tennis program, directed under the supervision of Barry Rubach, an accredited member of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association and former Collegiate Champion.  Classes range in age groups starting in 1st grade and continuing through ...

Commissioner Tucci Opens Registration For Toddler Sports Sampler

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci and the Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation are pleased to open registration for Toddler Sports Sampler.  This program is for Nutley youngsters ages 3-5. Not quite sure sport your child loves most? Look no further!  This class allows kids to participate in a variety of sports that will help them in their decision of which sport they enjoy most. Each ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 16, 2018


ON THE RAILS - Another commuting mess this morning, as the antiquated Portal Bridge got stuck in the "up" position at 4:22 a.m.  That caused a bunch of rush hour trains to be cancelled between Newark and Manhattan for four hours or so.  Both NJTransit and Amtrak riders were completely screwed. You may recall the proposed Gateway ...

The Price We Pay for School Security

March 17, 2018

In light of recent events with the Parkland school shooting, I understand the concern of parents when it comes to school safety.  Especially, when you end up having an incident from a high school kid in your own town posting threatening videos the next day. The BOE, police officers, and other administrators all handled the incident promptly and took the proper steps in calming jittered ...

#Enough Nutley High School Walkout: By Students, for Students

To the Editor:

Disgusted by federal inaction, devastated by the Parkland shooting, and determined to see real change, students around the country walked out of class at 10 a.m. on March 14th, one month after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Students of Nutley High School also protested, in solidarity with students from over 3000 other schools ...

Ten Ways to Be Productive on a Snow Day

March 7, 2018

Another Nor’Easter has smacked us in the face today.  After so many of us lost power for what seemed to be an eternity, it’s a good time to make up for lost productivity and work on the famous Stephen Covey Quadrant 2 Activities.  What are they you may ask?  Those are the activities that are Important, yet not urgent (well some of them can be).  In other ...

4th Wall Announces Auditions for FUN HOME

March 16, 2018

4th Wall Theatre, a non-union NJ theatre company, will hold open auditions for all roles in the final production of its 2017-18 season, FUN HOME, with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. 4th Wall’s production will be directed by Kate Swan with music direction by Markus Grae-Hauck. The show will be presented at ...

Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc 50/50 Raffle

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc. (JLMN) has provided support and service to women and children in Bloomfield, The Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Montclair, Newark and Verona for more than 95 years.

Our trained, enthusiastic members are committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community ...

Junior Summer Workshops To Be Held at Lord Stirling Stables

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable has announced the dates for the Junior Summer Workshops, which are themed five-day programs focusing on riding and horse care. The Stable is located at 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge.

Junior riders may enroll in Summer Workshops beginning Saturday, March 17, 2018 at ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...


- Mar 14, 2018
Past Deputy Grand Marshall of St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Merchant Marine veteran James J.
Read more
Nov 23, 1963 - Mar 12, 2018
Jeffrey Roy Imhoff passed away on March 12, 2018. He was a lifelong resident of Nutley, graduating ...
Read more