The ultimate celebration of Italian New York is officially here. The annual San Gennaro mega-feast takes root in Manhattan for a full ten days, from September 15 through September 25.
The feast returns to the city for its 96th edition, and will introduce New Yorkers to authentic Italian taste through food and culture. The feast celebrates the life of San Gennaro of Naples, who was a bishop and martyr, as well as the Neapolitan community of Manhattan, who immigrated to the United States decades ago with their Italian traditions.
In authentic Italian style, the food will be the centerpiece of the feast. A wide range of vendors will flock to Little Italy to delight visitors with delicious Italian cuisine, from Sicilian cannoli to real Neapolitan pizza. Foodies will have the chance to sample chicken and meatball from the oldest cheese shop in the US, called Alleva Dairy, while Roll Up will be ready to serve up fried Italian egg rolls. There will be plenty of cannoli to satisfy your sweet tooth too, and Caffè Palermo will serve up fried pastries as well.
Lots of entertainment will be provided to make this year’s holiday unforgettable. Of course, some of it will be food related. The 24th Annual Cannoli Eating Contest takes place on September 16th, where participants will fight to the last pastry to win the title. If you can’t take part in this eating contest, don’t worry – there will be more. On September 21, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., the third annual Zebule Eating Contest will take place, and brave foodies who want to participate can sign up by sending an email to this address. Two days later, on September 23 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., pizza lovers will be able to gather around the 2nd Annual Pizza Eating Contest, while the last day of the festival will culminate in the 5th Annual Meatball Eating Contest at 1 p.m. (You can register here to participate in any of the two competitions).
Live music, parades, and festivities are available on upcoming holidays, too. On September 17, the Grand Procession will host the public from 2-4 p.m., featuring amazing floats, antique cars, and celebrities. The iconic statue of San Gennaro will also be brought in and displayed, and the Red Mike Festival Band will provide exhilarating musical entertainment for the entire procession. Grand Marshall and former NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino, and Mayor Eric Adams will appear as the honorary Grand Marshall. The statue of San Gennaro will be brought back on September 19 (6-8 p.m.) for the High Mass and the following religious procession.
Artists and performers will also light up the feast, including Vanessa “The Jazzy Italian” Ricci, who is scheduled to perform on the evening of September 18, and Jessa V and the Fringe on September 19. Among other talented artists, Louis & JoAnn with Uptown Band is scheduled for the night of September 23, and Jenna Esposito is scheduled to perform on closing day as well. Alternatively, September 20 will celebrate Enrico Caruso’s 26th Opera Day, when from 7-9pm visitors will have the opportunity to attend opera performances by Shana Farr and Jessa in Salerno, Sheryl Warfield, Francesca Caviglia and David Maiolo.
For more information and a look at the full schedule for this year’s San Gennaro Feast, you can visit the event’s website.