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The annual Feast of San Gennaro attracts both New Yorkers and visitors to Little Italy in September. Why? The 11-day long festival will spoil you with Italian specialties, parades, eating contests, and free concerts. Many local restaurants take part in the Feast of San Gennaro.
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Find out everything you need to know about this great event in New York here!
What is the Feast of San Gennaro?
The festival celebrates the life of San Gennaro of Naples, who was once the Bishop of Benevento in Italy. He died a martyr’s death in A.D. 305. The next Feast of San Gennaro in 2021 will mark its 95th anniversary in Little Italy. Besides a church service, there is a parade in honor of the patron saint, a meatball eating competition, a zeppole eating competition, and the festival’s highlight: the cannoli eating contest.
11 blocks = 11 days!
The event is especially important for all Americans with an Italian background. Little Italy’s Mulberry Street is where the first Italian immigrants settled in New York. In 1926, they decided to organize a feast to honor their patron saint from Naples and so the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy was born. The festival’s duration of exactly 11 days is no coincidence; it was chosen because Little Italy consists of 11 blocks!
When is The Feast of San Gennaro?
The next Feast of San Gennaro will take place from September 16 to September 26, 2021.
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When is the famous Cannoli Contest?
This will be fun! The Cannoli Eating Competitions takes place for the 23rd time on September 17th – the start will be 1 pm. Just head to the stage at Grand & Mott Streets.
Where is the San Gennaro Feast?
Mulberry Street is the center of Little Italy and also San Gennaro’s main path. The festival stretches from Canal Street all the way to East Housten Street and also extends to Grand Street and Hester Street.
Which events take place there?
To have an idea what you can expect at the 95th Feast of San Gennaro, have a look at events during the last festival:
September 16, 2021
- Johnny Mandolin & Friends: 5pm
- Blessing of the Stands: 6pm
September 17, 2021
- 23rd Annual Cannoli Eating Contest: 1pm
September 18, 2021
- Frank Sinatra Show: 2pm – 6pm
September 19, 2021
- Solemn High Mass celebrating the patron Saint of Naples: 6pm
September 20, 2021
September 21, 2021
- 25th Annual Enrico Caruso Opera Night: 7pm
September 22, 2021
- 2nd Annual Zeppole Eating Competition: 1pm
September 23, 2021
September 24, 2021
- 1st Annual Pizza Eating Contest: 1 pm
September 25, 2021
- The Grand Procession: 2pm
September 26, 2021
- Jenna Esposito: 6:30 pm
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When is the San Gennaro feast over?
The last day of the San Gennaro festival in NYC is Sunday, September 26, 2021.
What can you do after the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy?
And don’t forget – you can find the best things to do in Little Italy in our guide here.
Who is the patron saint San Gennaro?
Saint San Gennaro was a bishop in Italy who died a martyr’s death in 305 A.D. and is still honored today (also in Italy).
Isn’t this the festival from Godfather 2?
No, the festival in Godfather 2 was the Feast of San Rocca (which takes place in August).
How can I explore the neighborhood the best?
Try one of the following top rated tours:
Soho, Little Italy & Chinatown Walking TourWalking Tour in Hudson SquareOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Now known for their many excellent restaurants, shops and tourism, Manhattan‘s SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown neighborhoods offer the most varied stories of New York City. Take a 2-hour tour with a local guide and discover hidden gems and 19th century buildings.
Chinatown and Little Italy Food FestWalking Tour in ChinatownOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
Explore the flavors and traditions of New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy during this exciting food tour. You’ll leave with a full stomach and lots of interesting information about the history and culture of these two neighborhoods.
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