New York’s Little Italy becomes a big party during the annual Feast of San Gennaro – September 11 – 21, 2014. The colorful, chaotic festival honors the patron saint of Naples and includes religious ceremonies, parades, musical performances, carnival games and rides, and lots of great Italian food. Mulberry Street is lined with stalls and vendors that, along with 35 neighborhood restaurants and cafes, serve Italian delicacies like homemade pastas, seafood, grilled sausage and peppers, zeppole, and cannoli.
This is the 88th annual Feast of San Gennaro, which was first celebrated in Little Italy in 1926 by newly-arrived Neapolitan immigrants. The festival is presented by Figli di San Gennaro (Children of San Gennaro), a community organization dedicated to preserving the culture and faith of the early Italian immigrants. The feast is expected to draw more than a million revelers.
Visit the Festivities
The festival takes place along Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets. Religious rites are centered at the historic Most Precious Blood Church, home to the National Shrine of San Gennaro (113 Baxter St & Mulberry near Canal St.)
Festival vendors are open 11:30am – 11:00pm (midnight Fridays & Saturdays)
Subway: 6 to Spring Street or the N/R to Prince Street.
Note: Mulberry Street becomes very crowded (particularly on weekends), so large bags, luggage, or strollers may be difficult to navigate.
Festival events include…
Free entertainment is presented daily on the Grand Street Stage (at Mott Street). See the full roster here.
September 11 – 4-5pm: 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony – with musical performances on the Grand Street Stage. 6-7pm: Blessing of the Stands – Priests from Most Precious Blood Church walk the streets of the festival blessing the restaurants, cafes, shops, and vendors to ensure a successful feast.
- September 12 – 2pm: Cannoli Eating Contest – on the Grand Street Stage.
- September 13 – 2pm: Grand Procession, featuring floats, marching bands, Grand Marshall Mayor de Blasio, and the Statue of San Gennaro.
- September 19 (Official Feast Day) – 6pm: Mass in honor of San Gennaro in Most Precious Blood Church, 7pm: Religious Procession with the Statue of San Gennaro from the church up Mulberry Street.
Have you been to New York’s Feast of San Gennaro? What’s your favorite memory? Tell us in the comments below.