The Italian American Marching Club is one of the largest ethnic organizations in the Southeastern United States. It was founded by Joseph Cardenia and friends in 1970 and has climbed to heights of 1500 members in recent years. It's objective is to keep the Italian heritage prevalent in New Orleans, the destination of so many of forefathers in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The organization is unique in that it has incorporated the focal point of New Orleans' festive culture, the parade, into it's love of our Italian heritage. This is done in celebration of St. Joseph's Day each year. The evening begins with pizza, wine, and Italian music, then the marchers, dressed in black tuxedos, proceed to parade through New Orleans' famous French Quarter.
Thousands of locals and tourists line the streets to take part in the celebration. Exchange salutations, hand out silk flowers and fava beans, and dance and sing with the bystanders. Follow the parade with a gala in the grand ballroom of the New Orleans Hilton, where the beautiful, young Italian signorinas are presented. Sip the wine and dance the Tarantella all night long. This event is the pinnacle of each year.
This great organization allows all of the Italian Americans in New Orleans to enjoy the company of one another in a fun and festive environment. It celebrates life in appreciation of heritage and strives to keep it significant in the city as it has been for over 100 years.