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Michael Amante to Serve as Peekskill Sauce Boss

PEEKSKILL – Tenor Michael Amante was already named as the headliner for a kickoff concert for the city’s Festa Italiana on Aug. 11 and now he will also be judging the tomato sauce war.

“I don’t make a good sauce, I make the best sauce in the world,” Amante said.

There are probably many folks out there ready to challenge that claim, said Festa Italiana Director Frank Cimino.

“We didn’t think it would be fair to have someone who once had their own cooking show, which Michael Amante did, compete in our Tomato Sauce Wars, so instead we asked him if he would be one of our celebrity judges,” Cimino said. “Mr. Amante graciously accepted the offer, and will join Kacey Morabito of WHUD and Matt Sampson of News 12 for the final round of judging to be held on the outdoor stage at Festa Italiana Peekskill on Sunday, August 14th around 4 p.m.”

Amante will appear at the Paramount Center for the Arts with disc jockey and comedian Goumba Johnny on Aug. 11. Festa Italiana Peekskill is held in conjunction with the Feast of the Assumption and the Church of the Assumption will have a special mass to celebrate the occasion on Aug. 14. That will be followed by the Assumption of Mary procession from the church, through the streets of Peekskill to the festival.

The Tomato Sauce Wars is exclusive to Festa Italiana Peekskill and had 82 people vying for the Glass Tomato trophy last year. Festival organizers expect that number to at least double this year and have decided to hold the preliminary judging a few days before the festival at Ciro’s on South Restaurant. The public is invited to witness the preliminary judging. Exact dates and times of the judging will depend on the number of entries.

Submissions will be accepted at Ciro’s on South, located at 911 South St. on Sunday, Aug. 7 between noon and 5 p.m. and on Monday, Aug. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Complete rules and entry forms can be downloaded from or copies can be obtained at HomeQuest Realty, located at 937 South St.

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