La Madonna ready for annual journey

Lucy Fasciano, back, Sabina DeGioia, Francis Bellifemini, Dorothy Camporeale, Rosalie Palumbo, Angela Mezzino, Rosalie Bellifemini, front, Tina Amato and Rosa DeGioia.
Lucy Fasciano, back, Sabina DeGioia, Francis Bellifemini, Dorothy Camporeale, Rosalie Palumbo, Angela Mezzino, Rosalie Bellifemini, front, Tina Amato and Rosa DeGioia.

Every detail has been made as La Madonna is prepared to start her journey to St Mark's Cathedral on Thursday evening.

Members of the Port Pirie Italian Community have been busy putting the finishing touches on their beloved lady as Blessing of the Fleet celebrations get underway this week.

This year is a poignant occasion for the city as the feast marks its 90th year.

Tina Amato, wife of president of Our Lady of Martyrs Port Pirie Italian Community Philip Amato, said the Blessing of the Fleet took an entire year to prepare with the month leading up to the celebration being especially busy.

"We are following in our forefathers' footsteps," she said.

"We hope we still make them proud, that we are still following the traditions."

The traditions that take place on the Blessing of the Fleet have withstood the test of time and remain mostly unchanged.

The procession starts from St Anthony's Church, Geddes Road, at 6.30pm Thursday.

The annual debutante ball is held at the Northern Festival Centre on Saturday night.

On Sunday, thanksgivings adorn the Madonna and are placed for blessings received with the final procession taking place after high mass from St Mark's Cathedral to St Anthony's Church, stopping at the boat ramp area.

Statue bearers carry the Madonna to the boat ramp where she boards a boat and is ferried out into the harbour for the blessing of the water before returning home to St Anthony's Church.