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Contributions of Italians to Lincoln honored May 21

KNOW AND GO: What: 2nd annual Italian Fest When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 21 Where: Downtown Lincoln near Fifth and F streets Admission: Free Information: 408-7503 or lincolnkidz@aol.com
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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In the early 1900s, Lincoln saw the influx of hundreds of Italians either working as artists at Gladding, McBean or as farmers in the agricultural community. That’s according to a recent history booklet written by Lincoln resident Anna Lavallee, who is a Lincoln Area Archives Museum volunteer and is half-Italian. Lavallee’s booklet will be sold at the Lincoln Area Archives Museum during the second annual Italian Festival on May 21. The event, sponsored by Friends of Lincoln Kids, will also host a classic car show and entertainment, according to the nonprofit organization’s president Jeff Greenberg. The organization provides funding for programs that benefit Lincoln’s youth, according to previous News Messenger reports. Lavalle’s research involved interviewing Italian residents from Lincoln, most over the age of 90, and using Archive Museum resources and scrapbooks by resident Evelyn Procissi. “Really, the best thing and most fun I had was talking to them (older residents),” Lavallee said. “I think the Italians will love it. I never dreamed, when I started, that there were so many Italians who contributed so much to Lincoln.” Proceeds from booklet sales will go to the Archives Museum, and will sell for $12, according to Archives Museum volunteer executive director Shirley Russell.