It was “Spaghetti City” for a 45th consecutive year on Tuesday, thanks those at the Rotary Club of Nashua West (New Hampshire, US – D 7870).
The Nashua Senior Center was filled with the aroma of Italian food.
Hundreds of people representing all age groups gathered together, slurping up strands of spaghetti and munching on soft bread rolls.
Classic Italian music such as “That’s Amore” played in the background.
“Bon appetit, everybody. Enjoy,” said DJ Bernie del Llano via the microphone.
The dinner has taken place in Nashua every year for 45 years.
Spaghetti isn’t the only food that was served, as chocolate and vanilla cake and ice cream were also offered.
A contest for the best spaghetti sauce also took place.
The contest, known as the Paisano Cup, sees people choose among three spaghetti sauces from the Rotary Club of Nashua, Nashua West, and Souhegan Valley.
Every person voted with a coin given to them at the centre’s entrance.
Rotary member and volunteer Kim Reagan has attended and volunteered at the event for 15 years, while she has been a Rotarian for 25 years.
“It has become a tradition in Nashua,” Reagan said.
“We have people that will show up here 45 minutes before it starts and they wait for their spaghetti dinner. And if we don’t meet with the Senior Center and have it on their calendar, people start asking us in August, ‘When is it? When is it?’”
In his 14 years working at the event, del Llano said the annual crowd continues to grow.
“It brings people out,” del Llano said.
“In a world of technology, a lot of people believe in the social media world. In this way, a lot of families can get together – a lot of people who haven’t seen each other in a while can get together for a simple little dinner.”
He said another tradition he does every year at the dinner is make a joke about how the Paisano Cup with the past years’ winners on it was lost a few years ago and was immediately replaced.
Every year, he said, he teases the crowd about it by saying it isn’t the original cup and that he still doesn’t know where it is.
The youngest member and volunteer for the event, 10-year-old Alexandra Cookson, has been going to the spaghetti dinner with her father, Mark Cookson, since she was six days old.
“It’s fun,” Alexandra said.
A resident of the Nashua Senior Center and attendee of the dinner, Collette Gendron has been going to the spaghetti dinner for three years.
Gendron said she enjoys the service and how the dinner brings people together.
“It’s important to get everybody together,” Gendron said.
“A lot of people don’t go out much. This way, it gives them a place to come and meet a lot of friends, get together (and) meet new people.”
Representing Nashua Community College, Olivia Cole volunteered for the event for the first time.
Cole said she enjoyed helping her community and said it gives the younger generation a chance to help others.
“I just enjoy helping people in this way – it’s fun for me,” Cole said.
Source: The Telegraph