La Festa di San Rocco in Chickahominy

August is the time of the summer when, like most places, Greenwich quiets down. Plenty of residents head out to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, or Maine.

For those of us who don’t own second homes, however, August means a church carnival almost every weekend!

Coming up this weekend is Saint Roch’s Feast. Saint Roch’s is the Roman Catholic church in the Chickahominy neighborhood of Greenwich. Just to the west of downtown, local legend holds that the area was named after the Chickahominy River in Virginia in honor of the many locals who died fighting a battle there during the Civil War. Chickahominy remained a largely rural area of town until development started in earnest in the early 19th Century, when it was largely settled by Italian immigrants.

It's all in honor of this guy. Courtesy: Medelie Vendetta/Flickr
It’s all in honor of this guy.
Courtesy: Medelie Vendetta/Flickr

Those recent immigrants built Saint Roch’s church, which remains proudly in the center of the neighborhood to this day. And in honor of La Festa di San Rocco, or Saint Roch’s feast day, this church holds a four-day carnival featuring live music, games, rides, Italian food, and religious ceremonies in honor of the eponymous saint known for his service to the ill. Yes, I really like the word eponymous, and do actually use it in everyday conversation. Saint Roch Avenue will be lined with red, white, and green lights in honor of the Italian flag, which I’m sure will be a sight.

Hopefully, no children will be selling beer at Saint Roch's. Beer can sell itself.
Hopefully, no children will be selling beer at Saint Roch’s. Beer can obviously sell itself. Courtesy: Michelle Sneed/Flickr

The biggest draw for us here at the Stanton House Inn is pizza fritta (which we pronounce “pizza freet”, for some reason), which is fried dough covered with marinara sauce, and sausage and peppers. More than a few memories of growing-up in town included riding every ride at the church carnivals until we almost threw-up, playing a couple carnival games until we ran out of pocket money, and then gorging on pizza fritta and other Italian food, especially cookies.

Soooo good. You can also get one smothered in powdered sugar. Just sayin’.
Courtesy: Luca Sartoni/Flickr

There’ll also be a raffle for a Subaru and other cash prizes, if anybody feels like gambling.

Either way, it should be a blast. Come-down to Chickahominy this coming weekend, Wednesday night at midnight until Saturday, the 6th to the 9th of August.

Notice I didn’t make any mention of “Roching-out” in Chickahominy or anything like that (except right there). You’re welcome.