EXETER — Mayor Denise Adams, in office just six months, wants to make a difference in her borough. Since January, she’s created a Citizen of the Month program and, last weekend, successfully held the first-ever Exeter Block Party at the Town Hall. According to Adams, her mission is to bring Exeter together in a positive way.
Adams came up with the idea of an-old fashioned block party to honor the Cino Paci Band, now in its 95th year. The block party began with a parade at 11 a.m. June 30 at the former St. Cecilia’s Church and ended at the Town Hall.
“I wanted to do a tribute to Paci’s Band and a group of us, including council, got together to make this happen,” Mayor Adams said. “Paci’s Band is a part of our (Exeter) heritage.”
Giuseppe “Cino” Paci, a native of Italy who settled in Exeter, created an orchestral band in 1923, playing everything from marching tunes to traditional Italian music. The band is comprised of trombones, trumpets, clarinets, saxophones, tubas and drums.
“The block party was planned over the last three months,” Exeter councilman Dave Balent said. “Usually, it can take a full year to plan an event like this, but we pulled it off.”
The party featured food, ice cream, raffles, games, face painting, vendors and plenty of music, including a set by the Paci Band led by conductor Charles Infantino, a second-generation director behind his father, the late Joey “I” Infantino.
Lynn Rigle Pfeil, a granddaughter of Cino Paci, was on hand for the event. Her mother, the late Fedor Paci Rigle, a lifetime Exeter resident, was deeply embedded in Exeter history as a member of the Exeter Borough Taxpayers Association and St. Anthony of Padua’s Christian Mothers Society. She was also proprietor of Lou Rigle’s Market in the borough.
“We were going to Cino Paci Band events before I could even remember,” Pfeil said. “When I was growing up, he (Cino) wasn’t playing music as much as he was listening to music such as opera.”
Pfeil, who now resides in Lancaster, recalled often coming back to the area at her mother’s request when the Paci Band would perform.
Laura Tarantino drove from Arlington, VA to be present at the block party. Her father, the late Ross Tarentino, was also a former Paci Band director. “My dad took over for Cino Paci when he was too frail to continue on,” Tarantino said. “Before my dad died in 1989, he passed the baton on to Joey ‘I’.”
According to Mayor Adams, the block party may be around for a while. “We’ve created the Exeter Events Committee and, if anybody in the community wants to get involved with creating or promoting an event, we would be happy to have them involved.”
“We want to give young people in town a taste of our heritage as well as new people moving into town,” Adams concluded.