West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival holds honoree dinner

BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. (WDTV) -- With the West Virginia Italian Heritage festival drawing near, Thursday at the Bridgeport Conference Center, several important members of the community were honored.

Every year the festival honors the Italian-American man and woman of the year, as well as the honorary Italian man and woman. During Thursday's ceremony, the festival also give out awards for Excellence in Education. The board says the nominees give back to their families and community, and exemplify what the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival is all about.

"For those we are celebrating tonight. We are also announcing our grand parade marshal, our excellent in education winners and everyone is here to congratulate them and welcome them for their great honor, " said Weege Vargo, a board member.

Overall the atmosphere before the main event was filled with good cheer and laughter as people mingled and congratulated the honorees on being selected for such a prestigious award.

"This is a tremendous honor. It's probably the most prestigious honor I have ever received. This is about family, it's about friends, and the Italian men that were so influential in my life and it's a great honor, " said Roman Prezioso, Italian American Man of the Year.

The official start of the festival is Friday at noon in Clarksburg.