The Feast of San Gennaro is the US incarnation of the centuries-old San Gennaro Festival in Naples, Italy, and has been a popular – and free – New York food and cultural festival since 1926. Not surprisingly... ... read more
109 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10002
The Feast of San Gennaro is the US incarnation of the centuries-old San Gennaro Festival in Naples, Italy, and has been a popular – and free – New York food and cultural festival since 1926.
Not surprisingly, its States-side beginnings found root in NY’s Little Italy, and originally comprised of a one-day religious commemoration organized by newly arrived expats. Since that time, however, the Feast of San Gennaro has bloomed into an 11-day event in mid-September, with lots of food and drink, music, a colorful parade, marching bands, and more.
Little Italy’s Mulberry Street is almost entirely taken over during the Feast of San Gennaro, turning into a temporary pedestrian thoroughfare with street vendors pedaling everything from sausages to carnival-style games.
Visitors to the Feast of San Gennaro can also check out a cannoli eating contest, a series of religious ceremonies – including a procession of priests blessing all the area’s shops and eateries – and consume more zeppole (fried dough with sugar) than they ever imagined possible.
Apart from hosting the eating contests, the stage also features regular live bands at the Feast of San Gennaro, ranging from Italian folk and opera to rock and doo wop to old standards.
Although it is free to attend the Feast of San Gennaro, donations are encouraged, as proceeds go to a number of local charities. Food and drink prices vary at the individual restaurants and vendors, though it shouldn’t be hard for anyone to (over) fill up without breaking the bank.
Since 2002, Los Angeles has held its own Feast of San Gennaro thanks to the efforts of local celebs Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla. Las Vegas has started hosting its own Gennaro celebration back in 1986, which was so successful that Sin City actually now holds one twice a year (one in May, the other in September).