Who will be crowned this year’s queen?

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One of the most thrilling and glamorous events in the Chicago-area Italian-American community is the contest to determine who will reign as La Bella Regina of the Columbus Day Parade.

“Few events in the community can match the pageantry of the annual Columbus Day Queen pageant,” says Ron Onesti, president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. “The queen will be the star of the Italian community for a year’s reign.”

Sponsored by the JCCIA, this year’s pageant will be held at 1 p.m. on July 21 at the Des Plaines Theatre. The event will be chaired by Rose Mary Ranallo, with Pat Capriati serving as master of ceremonies.

Last year’s queen, Ava DiGirolamo, will end her reign at the pageant when she passes the crown to the next Bella Regina.

Contestants must be between the ages of 17 and 23, single and never married, of Italian descent, and live in the Chicago area.

In addition to the crown, the winner of the contest will receive a prize package that includes $2,000. The first runner-up will receive a prize package that includes $500.

Every participant will receive a gift and be automatically selected as a member of the queen’s court at the Columbus Day Parade. This year’s parade is slated for Oct. 14 on State Street between Lake and Van Buren streets in downtown Chicago.

“We encourage all eligible young ladies to participate in this most proud display of our heritage,” Onesti says. “Nothing speaks louder than your presence.”

For details, click here.


About Fra Noi

Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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