A southwest Fresno church held its annual St. Elia celebration for the 106th time Sunday with a Mass at St. Alphonsus Church on East Kearney Boulevard, a procession through the neighborhood and a dinner for congregation members.
The event celebrates the patron saint of the village of Maschito, Italy – the hometown of a number of Italian immigrants who arrived in Fresno between 1880 and 1920.
The celebration began with a high Mass at noon Sunday at the church.
It was followed by a four-block procession that included families carrying a statue of St. Elia, as well as a grand marshal, the Knights of Columbus, the Bullard High jazz band and people in costume as a queen, angels and Italian peasant children.
A celebratory dinner was scheduled for the congregation at Valdez Hall in Fresno.