St. Rocco

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Every August, the Society of St. Rocco di Simbario set forth from their home church of St. Therese Catholic Church, an Italian-Chinese hybrid off of Wentworth Ave in Chinatown. Since 1920, the group founded by Chicago Outfit patriarch Bruno Roti Sr. and his brother-in-law Bruno Bertucci, leads St. Rocco in a day of family, celebration, money and explosions. The solemn tones and sung hymns of the morning mass give way to a marching big-band in the streets, lending a festive feel to the approaching procession. Signaling the arrival of St. Rocco, a frenzy of explosives is lit off in his honor, and as the smoke clears, St. Rocco himself appears. As the names of families who donate to St. Rocco are read aloud, money is pinned onto the statue, as he is lead through the streets, marching band, explosives, and families all in tow.

All sounds by Ben Schulman