Dewey Guida named 2021 Italian-American of the Year | News, Sports, Jobs
ST. CLAIRSVILLE – A restaurateur from Weirton addressed inspiring words to a collection of local graduates: “The American dream is still alive.”
Undo’s Ohio Valley Italian Festival named Dewey Guida, owner of Dee Jay’s barbecue ribs, as its Italian-American of the Year for 2021 on Wednesday night. During their media night on Wednesday, the festival board also awarded 12 students with scholarships of $ 1,000.
Guida spoke to a gathered crowd of students, parents, board members and friends to advise graduates not to be disillusioned “American dream,” as the living Italian community thrives, thanks to the ambitions of their ancestors who pursued this dream.
“Be proud of your Italian heritage. Your ancestors came here with nothing but the American Dream, ” he said.
“I still believe in it, and I still believe in you, and I believe it will be a wonderful time for all of you to shine.
“You have to keep your values,” He continued. “Not only that, you have to make sure that you take responsibility for what you do. If we don’t, then we will be the country I see, which sometimes needs more youth leadership.
“Nothing is easy. Hard work, faith, belief in God, belief in your family, belief in all that is important to you. Without this foundation, I don’t think I could be here.
Fellows, representing Belmont, Brooke, Hancock, Jefferson, Marshall and Ohio counties are Alex Douglass, Alana Trigg, Kamryn Bable, Jeana Battista, Sydney Crawford, Madalena Daugherty, Madison Phillips, Joseph Rohde, Regan Gray, Zara Zervos, Gino Gentile and Giuilo Gentile.
The Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival, which was confirmed earlier this year to take place in July, is still shaping up to be a good new year, although a little light on the vendors. Board chairman Michele Fabbro said there were fewer vendors lined up so far from a typical year, but still expected a high turnout.
“We have a little less than usual, but we still have a lot of time so we still plan to get more. We’re just going to have the best festival we can; this is our plan, “ Said Fabbro.
On Wednesday, Fabbro said 32 vendors had been hired to sell at the festival, which runs July 23-25. A typical year usually sees around 50. Notable in its absence this year is the pétanque tournament, one of the perennial favorites of festival-goers.
“We have a few new things; the only thing we don’t have, which we usually have on site, is pétanque (tournament) ”, she said. “… We still have a lot of our traditional events; a Veterans Day ceremony, an opening ceremony on Friday and a Catholic mass on Sunday. All of these will be in place.
Guida, like thousands of Ohio Valley residents, was thrilled to see the Italian festival return this year.
“Oh, that’s wonderful. Really, one of the biggest festivals that has been going on for years ”, he said. “It’s bringing people together, sharing fun, food, music and everything that comes with the festival. This has probably been one of the biggest legacies going on. … People missed a lot in 2020, the pandemic has changed things, but I hope we pull ourselves together now and start to see each other come home, eat great food, love live music and share our legacy Italian.