But just minutes after its completion rose the day's first chants of "Viva San Pietro" -- and the grand finale to
As if on cue, the carnival rides began to turn again, one could smell the fried dough and other carnival treats cooking -- and the Procession of St. Peter began, with bearers hoisting the statue of St. Peter onto their shoulders and carrying it and those of other religious figures through the heart of the city.
The finale of the five-day festival featured Fiesta's unique sports events -- the final seine boat races and the walk down the Greasy Pole -- and the altar/stage would host one final go-around of entertainment, from the traditional Sunday afternoon concert by the
But the Sunday centerpieces were once again the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony and especially the procession, which drew crowds throughout its route along Washington and Prospect streets and back to the Fiesta grounds.
Backed by St. Alfio's
Just ahead of the statue, but just behind the city police escort -- some officers using what appeared to be all-terrain vehicles -- walked Mayor
Kirk, dressed in all white as is traditional for the Fiesta procession, said the procession is her favorite part of the five-day celebration, and she hailed the 2014 edition of it.
"It's been one of our best," said the mayor. "We have reclaimed Fiesta for the families and children."
Kirk said the festival had not been hit with high levels of the activities that have clouded it in past -- arrests, night disturbances and difficulties with crowd control. She added that city police had been monitoring the event carefully since its Wednesday start.
As a recent addition to
"It's been incredible," Achadinha said, adding that it was great to see people come out to celebrate St. Peter, one of Christ's original 12 apostles who was instrumental in laying the groundwork for modern Christianity. "It's been uplifting."
While the parade made its way up
One of the longer stops was in front of Mother of
Having grown up directly across the street from the club, Cianciolo said she hopes Fiesta is something that will continue on for years to come -- that the "kids will pick it up for the older generation."
"We just love it," she said.
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