LITTLE ITALY, NY – Little Italy’s streets will come to life as visitors to the historic neighborhood come to celebrate the Feast of San Gennaro.
The feast will celebrate the life of San Gennaro, who was a bishop of Benevento, Italy more than 1,500 years ago.
With plenty of good food and music, the 93rd annual Little Italy festivities begin Thursday.
Here’s what you need to know: When?
September 12 to September 22
Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston streets
Hester Street between Baxter and Centre streets
Grand Street between Baxter Street and Centre Market Place
What’s the history behind the feast?
In the early 1900s, immigrants from Naples, Italy continued their Italian tradition of hosting a one-day street festival for San Gennaro beginning in 1926.
San Gennaro, or Saint Januarius, was the Bishop of Benevento, Italy. During Emperor Diocletian’s persecution, it is believed he died a martyr in 305 AD after being tortured and beheaded. His body is preserved in Naples, alongside a vial of his blood that is believed to liquify twice a year.
The tradition continues today in New York City with an 11-day event throughout several blocks of Little Italy.
What’s to eat?
All the Italian food you can imagine – cannolis, calzones, meatballs, sausage and peppers and more.
There’s also some eating contests – and a vocal competition – slated for the week at Grand and Mott streets:
Sept. 13, 2 p.m.: 22nd Annual Cannoli Eating Competition
Sept. 18, 1 p.m.: 1st Annual Zeppole Eating Competition
Sept. 21, 1 p.m.: 4th Annual Meatball Eating Competition, in memory of Johnny ‘Cha Cha’
Sept. 21, 2 p.m.: Little Italy Vocal Competition
To sign up for any of the competitions, call 212-764-6330.
Music is scheduled too.
Sept. 16, 7 p.m.: 15th Annual Enrico Caruso Opera Night
Sept. 22, 2 p.m.: Neopolitan Concert
When is the Grand Procession?
For starters, Msgr. David Cassato will oversee the blessing of the stands Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. along Mulberry Street.
Saturday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m., floats, bands, and the Grand Marshall will lead the Grand Procession through the streets carrying the statue of San Gennaro. Some bands include the Red Mike Festival Band and the Giglio Band.
There will be a high mass celebrating the Patron Saint of Naples at 113 Baxter …read more
Source:: Daily Times