"The Baby Doll Dance" — Fourth of July in the Mahoning Valley

These photos come from my friend Megan Rosati. They were taken on Fourth of July in Lowellville, Ohio–a small town not far from Youngstown.

Folks in Lowellville have been celebrating the Fourth with “The Baby Doll Dance” for more than 100 years. The tradition was imported from Italy and takes place every year at the Mount Carmel Festival, an Italian church summer festival. These festivals, if you’ve not had a chance to attend one, are very possibly the greatest thing ever–cavatelli and meatballs!

Anyway, I just think this is a really cool local tradition (it’s right up there with dropping the walleye in Port Clinton, Ohio).

So here the band's warming up.


And here they're wheeling the old lady out.


And now they’re setting her ablaze.
There she goes. In Italian tradition burning the baby doll was a way to ceremoniously cast off the bad deeds of the previous year. Originally they used to also blow up her head.

My friend Megan said her friend Lisa got burned at this event. It is not a good fireworks show unless someone gets burned.

The end. If you’d like to read more, here’s an article from the Vindicator.



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