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Ironman, Saint Rocco Feast Highlight Fort Lee Events

The Week Ahead: a look at just some of what’s going on in Fort Lee this week.

The long-awaited 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship takes place on Saturday, promising to put Fort Lee in the national spotlight for a day, but also posing challenges for local police and motorists.

The southbound lanes of the Palisades Interstate Parkway (PIP) from exit 18 in Bear Mountain State Park to the George Washington Bridge between 2 a.m. and 8 p.m. on race day, authorities announced recently, and Hudson Terrace from the Edgewater border to the Englewood Cliffs border from 12:01 a.m. until about 10 p.m. Saturday, Fort Lee police said last week.

The Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce and the many volunteers who signed on to help out near the corner of Hudson Terrace and Bruce Reynolds Boulevard, which is probably one of the best places to watch the race.

By the time athletes who are still in the race get to the Chamber’s area, they will have completed a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson River, a 112-mile bike ride on the Palisades Parkway and have less than 10 miles left in their Marathon-length run.

There are 3,000 athletes , including several from North Jersey and one, Maxim Almenas, from Fort Lee. The race will also feature a field of and showcase the talents of men and women organizers called “one of the largest professional fields” in any Ironman event this year, with pros competing for a piece of the $125,000 purse and 4,000 qualifying points for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

The Chamber on Wednesday from 6 to 10 p.m. for Ironman athletes, event sponsors, volunteers and even spectators at the Assembly Steak House at 495 Sylvan Ave.

Also this week the Saint Rocco Italian American Mutual Aid Society of Fort Lee kicks off its , which runs from Wednesday to Sunday.

A mass procession of the statue of the saint—or the “running of the statue,” as it has come to be known locally—through the streets of Fort Lee, with the statue coming to a rest at the church, is central to the event.

The feast opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A mass at Saint Rocco Chapel takes place at 9 a.m. Sunday, with the annual procession at 4 p.m.

The five-day festival features plenty of food and live entertainment each day and a fireworks show on Saturday.

More information is available on the Saint Rocco website.

But before any of that, The Hudson Shakespeare Company returns to Fort Lee’s Tuesday for the first of two performances of its final offering of the summer.

The company will perform what it’s calling the “lost” Shakespeare play, “Cardenio,” at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Jon Ciccarelli, the production is an adaptation of a play called “Double Falsehood,” which is believed to have been written by Shakespeare and his protégé, John Fletcher, according to the company.

And on Saturday, don’t miss the Fort Lee Film Commission’s latest “Movies & Music Under the Stars” offering, which this week features music by The Royal Teens at 7 p.m. follow by a screening of the comedy classic The Blues Brothers (1980), starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd and directed by John Landis.

“[The Blues Brothers] is one of the super blockbuster, big-screen comedies from 1980,” said executive director Tom Meyers of the Film Commission when this year’s was announced. “And then the next week, you’re going to see something that may seem totally different, but that really isn’t. It’s W.C. Fields and The Bank Dick (1940).”

Meyers said Abbott and Costello, W.C. Fields and Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi provide the basis for a lineup of “great American comedies.”

“And they’re all from the same studio,” Meyers said.

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