The Marconi Club in Leechburg will celebrate its 110 years in the district this weekend
A well-known lodge in Leechburg is about to celebrate a milestone this weekend.
William Marconi Lodge of Mutual Benefit marks 110 years at 135 River Ave.
“We’re trying to give back to the members (and the public) because of the dreary year of the past year, and there really wasn’t much we could do with so many restrictions,” said club president Chad Raschiatore. “I just love to see the club prosper. We’re fine, even after the covid. Hopefully things will change and we can get back to normal. “
The festivities begin with a car cruise from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Leechburg River Front.
The first 30 vehicles will receive a dashboard plate and a gift bag. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
The cost is $ 10 per car. No registration is required. General admission is free.
Signage will be installed to indicate the path to the park.
A mixed pétanque tournament reserved for members is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.
At least 12 teams of two or four are expected.
Raschiatore said the teams recently finished their summer bocce league match and the matches continue to be a big draw for the club.
“It’s just part of the legacy,” he said. “We have a 90-year-old lady who is still coming to play. This is something we used to do, and it has stuck through all generations.
Public events continue with dancing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Hall of Mirrors, with music from the G6 group.
Members will be back Sunday at noon for a Steelers tailgate party that will last until the end of the game.
There is a raffle of kayaks and purses as part of the celebration. Tickets are $ 5 each, with the draw taking place at half-time of the Steelers game on Sunday. It is open to the public and to members. Ticket holders do not need to be present to win.
More information about the celebration is available on the club’s Facebook page.
The Italian social club of Leechburg was once an all-male group.
It was named after the Marquis Guglielmo Marconi, Nobel Prize winner and inventor of the Marconi wireless telegraph.
The club wrote to Marconi asking for permission to give their lodge their name. Marconi responded, giving them his blessing. And, he almost visited the club when he was in Pittsburgh in 1917. According to the club’s history, “due to his busy schedule, he was unable to accept the invitation.”
The River Avenue Lodge building was originally a blacksmith shop, stable and hotel. It is a local historical monument.
After the lodge was established, unions were finally formed and second and third generation Italian Americans used the Marconi Club more for socializing than as a refuge. It exploded as a social club. Live music with big bands filled with revelers by the hundreds. Parades, holidays, any great event was accompanied by a Marconi celebration.
An addition for a new hall was built in 1949 to accommodate the increase in membership. The building was renovated in 1972 with the lodge’s famous Hall of Mirrors, built with five tons of glass.
The most recent upgrades include new HVAC units and a dance floor installed last year. The next big project is to replace a roof that is over 40 years old.