Jack Falvo and his wife Kate are going to feel right at home 5 p.m. Saturday when they are crowned king and queen of the 13th annual Little Italy StreetFest in the North Jay St. neighborhood of downtown Schenectady.
"We are humbled and also very honored that they would think to choose us," said Falvo, an Assistant Chief with the Schenectady Police Department. "We certainly do patronize that area of the city, and they are wonderful people."
While Falvo and his wife don't live in the North Jay Street neighborhood, they know it very well.
"I've been going there all of my life," said Falvo. "Cornell's, Civitello's, Perecca's, all those places we know very well and love. The Rossi & Ditoro Funeral Home. They buried my son, my parents and most of my family. I feel a very strong connection to that part of the city."
Falvo lost his son, Jack III, in 2005 in a watercraft accident on the Mohawk River. In 2017, after years of fundraising, the Falvo family opened Jack's Place, a home at 17 Rosa Road just across the street from Ellis Hospital where family members of children being treated at Ellis Hospital or Sunnyview Hospital can spend the night.
"It's a great place, but unfortunately we're doing too good a business," said Falvo. "We have eight bedrooms and we're averaging over six of them being used each night. There have been times when we had to turn people away."
Last year was the first year the StreetFest named a king and queen. Floyd and Mary Simone, residents of the neighborhood, were the 2017 recipients, and event organizer Maria Papa, owner of Perreca's Bakery and More Perreca's, said the Falvos were an obvious choice for 2018.
Also this weekend:
- Schenectady: Greek Fest: Euripidou loves life in the kitchen, Sept. 6, 2018
- Amsterdam: River Ridge ItaliaFest visits Amsterdam's Southside, Sept. 6, 2018
- SPAC: Saratoga Wine & Food Festival adds flavors, flair, Sept. 6, 2018
"We started this last year because we wanted to honor local people who have contributed to either our neighborhood specifically or Schenectady in general," said Papa. "With what Jack and Kate have done with Jack's Place if wonderful. They are so deserving."
The Falvos will be crowned in a 5 p.m. ceremony at the main stage at the north end of North Jay up by the Sawmill Tavern.
"There is no admission fee, and we will have live music all day and great food," said Papa. "All of our stores, all the usual suspects, are going to be open and participating. We also have Spectrum news anchor Dan Bazile as a celebrity bartender from 3-6 p.m. in the More Perreca's beer and wine tent."
Rice bowls, a tradition at the Little Italy StreeFest, will also be in abundance.
"Our rice bowls, a special little meatball with rice coating around them, are always the hit of the festival," said Papa. "We'll have the old standards, sausage and pepper, eggplant parm, lemon ice. It's going to be a great day."
'13th annual Little Italy StreetFest'
WHERE: North Jay Street neighborhood, Schenectady
WHEN: Noon until 9 p.m. Saturday
HOW MUCH: Admission is free
MORE INFO: Visit the Little Italy StreetFest Facebook page
Noon - Grand Central Station
3 p.m. Happy Daze
5 p.m. Crowning of King and Queen ceremony
6 p.m. Tino Santoro and Friends
Noon - Linda Enzo Jones
2 p.m. - Ed Clifford, the Human Jukebox
4 p.m. - John DeFilippo & Friends