The annual Feast of San Gennaro attracts both New Yorkers and visitors to Little Italy in September. Why? The 11-days 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.
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. This year will mark the 93rd year of the Feast of San Gennaro 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, which takes place on September 13th at 1 pm.
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?
This year it will take place from September 12 -22.
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?
These events await you at the 93rd Feast of Gennaro:
- Johnny Mandolin & Friends: 5 pm
- Blessing of the Stands: 6 pm
- Free Pass 7:30 pm
- 22nd Annual Cannoli Eating Contest: 1 pm
- La La Brooks & the Crystals 7:30 pm
- The Grand Procession: 2 pm
- Speech by Patron Steve Schirripa: 4 pm
- Live Radio Broadcast: 7 pm
- Sassi Party Performers: 12 pm
- Gene Roberts Band: 7 pm
- Food demonstration: 1 pm
- The Devotions: 7:30 pm
- 1st Annual Zeppole Eating Competition: 1 pm
- The Chicklets: 7:30 pm
- Neopolitan Concert: 2pm
- Solemn High Mass celebrating the patron Saint of Naples: 6 pm
- Food demonstration: 1pm
- Vito & the Elegants: 7:30pm
- 3rd Annual Meatball Eating Contest: 1 pm
- Vocal Competition: 2pm
- Just Friends: 7:30 pm
- Blood donation with the Red Cross: 11:30am
- Mulberry Street – The Show: 2 pm
- Jimmy Russo & the Flowers: 4 pm
- Jenna Esposito: 6:30 pm
When is the San Gennaro feast over?
The last day of the San Gennaro festival in NYC is Sunday, September 22. Its final event will take place at 2 pm marking the official end of the festival.
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).