For years, Pascal Gangi has been continuing the Carnevale tradition that comes from his hometown Sciacca, in Sicily. Along with a group of friends and volunteers gathered under the non-profit group “A Little Taste of Sicily,” Gangi will once again prepare a traditional Carnevale float for this year’s Columbus Day Parade. This year, Gangi will be joined by young artist Giovanni Muscarnera, one of Sciacca’s most promising and talented professional float builders.
The project — in collaboration with East Boston’s Italia Unita organization — entails the creation of a float representing the unity of Italy, which was established in 1861. Measuring four feet wide, 12 feet high and eight feet long, the papier-mâché float will represent a giant popup book with several characters, including Giuseppe Garibaldi on horseback.
A graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology with a degree in Electrical-Mechanical Engineering, Gangi came to the United States as a young boy with his parents. His work has been featured on floats at the East Boston, Revere and North End Columbus Day parades, at the Wakefield 4th of July parade and at the North End’s Fisherman’s Feast.
To be able to complete this year’s project, Gangi has turned to the crowdfunding website GoFundMe. Donors can pitch in and make a Sciacca-style Carnevale happen in Boston.
Video interview (in Italian) by Stefano Salimbeni, for RAI Italia’s Community: