For the past two weeks, more than a million people have ventured over to the Lower Manhattan neighborhood of Little Italy for the Feast of San Gennaro, a food-and-fun-filled festival that takes place every September to honor the patron saint of Naples.
This 12-day festival is the ultimate Italian-American celebration: the tiny neighborhood shows off its Italian pride with its red, white, and green decorations as well as portraits of Saint Genarro. But it’s hard to focus on the decorations when you’re surrounded by every type of Italian food you can imagine and all the carnival rides of your childhood dreams. With so much to do, see, and eat crammed within a few streets, it’s nearly impossible to fathom that the 93-year-old Feast of San Gennaro used to take up thirty blocks!
Although the festival is much smaller than in previous years, the activities and the excitement around it have only grown. While the pizza and the cannoli eating contests have already passed, there’s still time to catch the closing events of San Genarro. On Saturday, September 21st, you can watch people participating in a glutton’s dream of the annual meatball eating competition followed by a singing competition in honor of the great Italian singers.
On Sunday, the festival concludes with music from Jimmy Russo & the Flowers and Jenna Esposito. And of course, all the while there will be zeppoles, torrone, and cannolis to snack on and Ferris wheels and tilt-a-whirls to ride on. So head down to Little Italy as soon as you can before the festivities are over!