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Socially distant Saint Ubaldo Day

The streets of Jessup were far more empty than they'd normally be on Memorial Day weekend but the signs of St. Ubaldo were still everywhere.

JESSUP, Pa. — The streets of Jessup are far more empty than they'd normally be on Memorial Day weekend but the signs of St. Ubaldo were still everywhere.

"We would have preferred to have it, the full celebration. But, this is what we have and we'll make the best of it. We still have all the flags out, you'll see all the flags out in town. People are celebrating that way," Al Alunni, Primo Capitano of St. Anthony.

The annual festival held in conjunction with one in Gubbio, Italy was canceled this year due to the pandemic. 

But, it's a tradition that goes back generations for many of the families here.

So, they found their own way to celebrate.

It's an unprecedented year that photographer Linda Anelli thought was still worth documenting from a safe distance, of course.

"Obviously, it was pretty sad when we heard that the festival was canceled. But, I wanted to document the day still. I knew that many of the families here in Jessup, we'd still dress for the day. So, I wanted to come out and document the day like I always have," said Linda Anell, photographer.

Anelli went from home to home to see how families were still celebrating the day.

"Even though it's a painful memory this year we still celebrate. We still move forward and we still carry our traditions," said St. Anthony President.

The St. Ubaldo Festival started in Italy in the 1100's, the celebration in Italy was canceled this year, too.

This is the first time in modern history that it's ever been called off but the families say nothing, not even a pandemic, can stall a centuries-old tradition.

"We just have that hope that next year it's going to be bigger and better, of course," said Alunni.