Our History

Italian American Marching Club historyThe Italian American St Joseph Society is one of the largest ethnic organizations in the Southeastern United States.

It was founded by Joseph Cardenia and friends in 1970 and has climbed to heights of 1500 members in recent years. Our objective is to keep our Italian heritage prevalent in New Orleans, the destination of so many of our forefathers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Our organization is unique in that we have incorporated the focal point of New Orleans’ festive culture, the parade, into our love of our Italian heritage. We do this in celebration of St. Joseph’s Day each year.

The evening begins with pizza, wine, and Italian music, then the marchers, dressed in black tuxedos, proceed to parade through New Orleans’ famous French Quarter. Thousands of locals and tourists line the streets to take part in our celebration. We exchange salutations, hand out silk flowers and fava beans, and dance and sing with the bystanders. We follow the parade with a gala in the grand ballroom of the New Orleans Hilton, where our beautiful, young Italian signorinas are presented. We sip the wine and dance the Tarantella all night long. This event is the pinnacle of each year; however, we do enjoy events throughout the year.

This great organization allows all of the Italian Americans in New Orleans to enjoy the company of one another in a fun and festive environment. We celebrate life in appreciation of our heritage and strive to keep it significant in our city as it has been for over 100 years. We sincerely invite you, as an Italian American, to join the Italian American St Joseph Society and celebrate your heritage with us in New Orleans.