Festa Italia! Three Day Showcase of Italian Culture at BK House

Traditional St. Joseph Altar, Italian Wine Tasting & Yat Pack Concert Planned

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The BK Historic House & Garden, home to the Corrado Giacona Family from the 1890s to 1925, will again honor the Patron Saint of Sicily with its annual St. Joseph’s altar March 17-19. The public is welcome to join staff and volunteers in marking this sacred Sicilian tradition, which has been celebrated in the French Quarter since Sicilian immigrants began arriving in the city in the late 19th century.

There will be a private blessing of the altar by Father Damien Zablocki on the 17th, after which the public will be invited to visit and learn more about this important ritual. The altar will remain available for viewing March 17-19 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Each visitor will be given the traditional prayer card, cookie, blessed bread, and lucky bean. Suits made for the Black Masking tradition will also be on display, as St. Joseph’s Day corresponds with this long-standing celebration of Black and Indigenous culture taking place on Super Sunday, March 19. On view will be suits created by Darryl Montana and Dianne Honoré, chief and queen of the Yellow Pocahontas Hunters tribe.

In preparation for the altar, advance culinary and financial contributions are welcome. Anyone who would like to donate to the altar may email Chris Fountain (chris@bkhouse.org) for further details. As in previous years, financial donations will be given to Covenant House New Orleans.


On Thursday, March 16, BK House will host In Vino Veritas: An Italian Wine Tasting Experience, featuring a presentation by Antonio Molesini, Italian wine specialist for RNDC. Participants will learn how to appreciate and savor five wines from Sicilia and Toscana, paired with CICCHETTI (Venetian Tapas) specially created by Chef Glen Hogh, formerly of Vega Tapas Cafe & Catering in Old Metairie. Doors open at 5:30 for the orchestrated tasting that begins promptly at 6 pm. Tickets must be pre-purchased at www.bkhouse.org and will be limited to 50 participants ONLY. The cost is $50, with a reduced price of $45 for museum members.

While not yet blessed and officially open for viewing, participants will get a sneak peak at the annual St. Joseph’s Day Altar, a uniquely Sicilian tradition brought by immigrants to New Orleans in the late 19th century.


In the continued celebration of Italian and Sicilian history, the much-acclaimed Yat Pack will perform a musical Salute to Italian Crooners on Sunday, March 19 at 6pm. The concert will feature Italian-inspired numbers by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Louis Prima, Perry Cuomo, Bobby Darin and others, as well as memorable Italian classics. Tickets are $40 and $30 for museum members. Doors open at 5:30pm. Light refreshments will be served. This is a Bring Your Own Beverage event. We recommend that guests bring along extra cups with beverages of choice! The St Joseph’s altar will still be in place through the 19th for visitation by concert goers.

All events take place at the Historic BK House & Gardens at 1113 Chartres St., across from the Old Ursuline Convent.

Details about upcoming BK House events and membership information are available at www.bkhouse.org for those who want to support the Museum and take advantage of future programming discounts.

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