Young and Old; Rich and Poor; Italian and Non Italians; Americans and Non Americans – They all come to this yearly celebrated Italian-American festival in Manhattan’s Little Italy to honour Naples’ patron saint. This year the festival celebrates it’s 93rd anniversary and will take place for 11 days in the heart of Little Italy.
I have recently come across this event on my Facebook suggestions and that is when I have learnt about this festival and have instantly decided to go. So, Here I am writing about it.
When I told one of my American friends about my plans to this festival she was like OH MY GOD, there are going to be crazy number of people at the festival with roads flooded with people. She also added that its going to be fun if the weather is nice. No wonder she instantly blurted that expression when I told her about my plan. There are like soooo many people all tightly packed.
The area is decorated in red, white and green, the colors of the Italian flag, and events include a cannoli-eating contest and meat ball eating along with live music. We missed both contests as the contests were on Friday and Sunday.
We visited on Saturday, and started wandering – wondering how to get our way through the crowds. I have made many stops to take pictures of the food, games and of course the crowds.
Yesss! I played at one of these stalls and won a Cute stuffed animal. I Spent 30 USD on the game and won this. (Clearly not a wise purchase)
People attending the festival eat all kinds of things that Little Italy has to offer – ranging from Peppers and Sausages to Cannollis and Zeppole.
There are Unending Food options.
This was my first time trying cannoli and Zeppole and I enjoyed every bite of them.
Zeppole are another sweet Italian delicacy and they are quite a popular treat during the Feast of San Gennero. A zeppola is an Italian pastry consisting of a deep-fried dough ball taking like a donut.
It was so hot and we had to keep ourselves hydrated. You guys should also stay hydrated. Lemonade lovers – There are unlimited refills for 20USD.
There are many other options for lemonade haters.
The major highlight of the festival is the Grand Procession of the statue of San Gennaro. The Procession starts at 2 p.m. on the last Saturday of the feast, after a special Mass at the Church of the Most Precious Blood. The candlelit procession takes the statue from the church through the streets of Little Italy.
Finally, taking a moment to express my love to New York which never fails to impress me. I love how she cares for the safety of her people/visitors.
If you are a short trip to NYC or you happen to be visiting in September, I highly recommend you to check out the Feast of San Gennaro! Don’t miss meatball and cannoli eating contests. Also be ready for cooking demonstrations from local chefs and lots of traditional live music.
Hope you loved reading as much as I loved getting involved at the festival.