Today was the last day of the Festival of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Berkeley Heights, NJ. which started Saturday, July 12 and ends tonight with fireworks at the River Road site of Mt. Carmel Hall. Today's procession, punctuated by the sporadic boom of firecrackers, brought the statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel down Plainfield Avenue past the library to the Church of the Little Flower for morning Mass.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Society was founded in 1909 in Berkeley Heights and celebrates annually on July 16, the Saint's day. In Italy, many towns celebrate the day of their patron saint and Italian immigrants brought the tradition to many Italian-American communities in the United States.
The Mt. Carmel Society built their first hall in 1925 next to the church. In 1952, the Society sold the hall to the town and the Berkeley Heights Public Library, previously in a small real estate office, moved in. The Mt. Carmel Society subsequently moved to its present River Road location.
Click here for a video of last year's fireworks.
From the Passaick to the Wach Unks, a History of the Township of Berkeley Heights. (Ready Ref 974.936 FRO) p. 270
Illustrated Lives of the Saints by Rev. Hugo Hoever (Ref 282.0922 HOE) p. 310 (July 16)
The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd edition, vol. 3, (Ref 282.03 NEW) articles on Mt. Carmel and the Carmelites, pp. 125 - 147.