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Celebrating Lou Costello on His 117th Birthday

Celebrating Lou Costello on His 117th Birthday

March 13, 2023

On Monday, March 6th, we partnered with the City of Paterson to hold an event at our Great Falls Youth Center that celebrated what would have been Paterson native Lou Costello's 117th birthday! Last year—on a warmer day—the event was held at Lou Costello Memorial Park, which was recently renovated and now includes a playground that accommodates children of all abilities, including those with special needs.

Kicking off the event, Mayor Andre Sayegh welcomed and thanked the guests for their attendance and spoke about Lou Costello's legacy. He said, "Paterson is proud to have been the hometown of Lou Costello, and we are thrilled to honor his legacy by creating inclusive spaces where children can play together, such as Lou Costello Memorial Park, as well as the Lou Costello Pool—which will be getting a makeover soon.

Next, Councilman Luis Velez shared his fondness for Lou Costello and why it is important that his legacy must continue and be recognized through the great work happening—like the recent renovation of Lou Costello Memorial Park. Following Councilman Velez's remarks, NJCDC Founder & CEO Bob Guarasci said, "NJCDC is proud to have played a role in the rehabilitation of Lou Costello Memorial Park and today, on the birthday of this national legend, we decided to have a poster commissioned to celebrate who Lou was and who he is. Lou Costello has paved the way and has never faded. We are proud to celebrate his 117th birthday!"

After an impromptu song by Lou Costello impersonator Lou Sciara, Bob, Mayor Sayegh, Councilman Velez, Lou, and NJCDC's Director of Community Outreach Eddie Gonzalez unveiled the new poster, which was designed by Christian Drury of Brightwell.

Guests then sang "Happy Birthday" to Lou and enjoyed a delicious birthday cake made by baker and Paterson resident Liz Bonilla, who is often referred to as "Paterson's Cake Boss." The beautifully made cake incorporated a picture of Lou Costello and had a cannoli filling that paid homage to Lou's Italian heritage.

While Lou Costello died over six decades ago, his legacy continues to live on through his body of work, as well as through his namesake park and pool. As Bob said at the celebration, "Who's on First? Today, Lou Costello is!"

Watch the famous Abbott & Costello "Who's On First" comedy sketch below.

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