The Santa Lucia Festival Committee is proud to announce Joe Caniglia, Our 2017 Honorary President
Joseph, (Joe), was born on August 2nd, 1931 in Omaha, Ne to Joseph and Mary Caniglia.
Joe is the oldest of 5 siblings, Jim, Jerry, Johnny (deceased), Jeff and Mary DiGiacomo.
Joe attended St.John's grade school, is a 1949 graduate of Creighton Prep high school and attended UNO. On June 2nd, 1951 at the age of 19, he married 17 year old Loretta (Larri) Smejkal. They just celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. Joe served in the U.S.NAVY the 1st two years of their marriage. Five years later they started a family which grew into 9 children, 20 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren.
Joe has many memories of growing up on Park Wild Ave in Little Italy. He loves to reminisce and tell all the stories of the neighborhood. One of his favorite memories is when he was 5 years old, he thought the neighborhood was throwing him a huge birthday party when in reality it was the Santa Lucia Festival. So every year while he was growing up, he had a week long birthday party with the neighborhood.
Joe was co-owner, with his brothers and sister, of Caniglia's Tavern and Caniglia's Mobile Home Park. During those busy years, Joe was and remains a dedicated father to his seven children and a devoted husband to his wife Larri.
In retirement, Joe enjoys working in his yard, traveling to South Dakota to visit his daughter, volunteering his time at the Santa Lucia Hall and cooking, but most of all, he enjoys being around his family and friends.
Joe - we all want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts
for your time and service to the Santa Lucia Festival and to your hard work during the recent hall renovation.
Congratulations on your Honorary Presidency for 2017!