Pageants, bocce offer contests


Dennis Kazoo dropped to the ground, lying on his stomach in form for a push up. That’s his signature position for getting the bocce ball as close to the jack as possible.

Thursday night it did just the trick as his team advanced to the next round of play at the Warren Italian-American Heritage Festival.

Kazoo might look odd in the process, but the years of perfecting the skill led his gray-haired team to victory over a team of four guys all named Anthony and all in their 20s.

The 30th annual festival kicked off at 4 p.m. Thursday and runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily through Sunday on Courthouse Square.

Each day promises the expected and much anticipated food vendors, dancing under the beer tent and, of course, more rounds of bocce.

The Tiny King and Queen Pageant and Miss Italian Pageant were among Thursday’s highlights.

“We’ve been practicing for a month. There has been a lot of bowing and blowing kisses and a lot of bribing with Toys ‘R’ Us,” Natalie Pacheco said.

Her son, Antonio Alfredo Pacheco, 4, lived up to expectations, bowing just as last year’s tiny king Dominic Bowser, 5, attempted to crown him the 2014 Tiny King.

Haley Isabella Maiorano, 7, was named Tiny Queen, following in the footsteps of her sister McKenzie Maiorano, 8, who won the contest in 2011.

“It was so exciting. Haley though was so determined to win. She knew she would,” said grandmother Donna Kensky. “I’d feel bad if she didn’t.”

The festival’s pasta sauce competition will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday; a parade will be held 2 p.m. Sunday with a fireworks display at 10:45 p.m. to conclude the weekend.