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Putting the icing on JFK centennial celebration

A cake baked by Montilio’s Bakery to honor the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth will be served Monday at the JFK Library.George Montilio

In 1961, Ernest Montilio was working hard to bake and decorate a cake for the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. On Sunday, his son, George Montilio, was putting the finishing touches on a cake to honor the 100th anniversary of Kennedy’s birth.

The cake will be cut and served Monday, the former president’s birthday and the conclusion of a five-day centennial celebration at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Montilio’s Bakery, a family-owned bakery based in Brockton, was selected because of its history with the Kennedy family.

“We have done a lot of work for the Kennedys through the years,” George Montilio said. “I was asked to do the cake and I said, ‘That’s great!’ It’s tradition and it’s such a great event to celebrate JFK’s legacy.”


The cake is about 7 feet deep and 8 feet wide, Montilio said. On one side is a replica of the museum and its shoreline setting. The other side shows a presidential seal and portrait of JFK.

The cake will also bear the logo of the centennial celebration.

The bakery began creating the cake on Thursday.

Montilio’s Bakery, which opened in 1947, also made a cake for Kennedy’s engagement to Jacqueline Kennedy. Montilio said the bakery has since served many other members of the family, including Rose Kennedy on her 90th birthday.

Rachel Flor, spokeswoman for the JFK Library, said the institution was pleased to add another chapter to the Kennedy-Montilio relationship.

“The day is filled with symbolism and celebration of President Kennedy’s birthday and who better to make the cake than Montilio’s, who had some connection to the family,” she said.

Monday’s festivities, beginning at 9 a.m., will include performances from the US Navy Band and the Boston City Singers, remarks from Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and a flyover by US Navy aircraft, Flor said. The cake, which will be cut at about 3:30 p.m., will serve about 1,000 people.


Montilio said because of the cake’s size, it has to be transported in multiple trucks. The cake will be put back together Monday morning when it arrives at the library.

Flor said the library is anticipating a large crowd on Monday, when admission to the museum will be free. Almost 2,000 people visited the museum on Sunday, and even more are expected for the anniversary.

Olivia Quintana can be reached at olivia.quintana@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.