Little Italy receives Secretary's Citation from State of Maryland

Oct 14, 2022 259

Tom Riford (in photo), Deputy Secretary of Maryland, presented a Secretary's Citation to the community of Little Italy. Accepting on the neighborhood's behalf was resident Giovanna Aquia Blattermann (on left), president of Little Italy Community Organization/LICO, an Italian immigrant, and proprietor of Cafe Gia; and Lisa Regnante (middle), vice president of the Little Italy Neighborhood Association/LINA.

As Riford and his wife dined at Cafe Gia, he surprised Blattermann and Regnante with the Secretary's Citation and read it aloud to patrons (see Citation's verbiage below). Previously, Riford and his staff had visited Little Italy for a walking tour of the neighborhood, hosted by a group of Little Italy community leaders: including Blattermann, Regnante; Dan Weiser, LINA President; Lou Mazzulli, Little Italy business owner; and Paul Oliver, proprietor of Dalesio's Restaurant.

One hundred seventy years ago in 1852 was when Italian immigrants began to arrive in what eventually was called Little Italy. LICO & LINA have ideas for a year-long celebration with various themed events, ending with the 2023 Italian Heritage Festival. The Citation also was read aloud at the October 9th Italian Heritage Festival during its kickoff ceremony.

SECRETARY'S CITATION'S VERBIAGE: Maryland Department of Commerce ... Secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce is pleased to confer upon you this Secretary's Citation to Little Italy. Be it known: that on behalf of the citizens of the State of Maryland, in celebration of the 170th anniversary of Little Italy; in recognition of being an important cultural and ethic icon for Baltimore City; in appreciation for hosting Italian festivals, outdoor movie nights, bocce ball courts, and a plethora of delicious restaurants for the community; and with our best wishes for continued success in the days and years to come, we are pleased to confer upon you this Secretary's Citation. Given Under My Hand and the Great Seal of the State of Maryland, this Ninth Day of October, Two Thousand Twenty Two. {signed} R. Michael Gill, Secretary

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