The Annual Feast of San Gennaro is a celebration of the Patron Saint of Naples. First celebrated in New York City on September 19, 1926 by newly arrived immigrants from Naples, the Feast of San Gennaro was a traditional celebration in Naples for Saint Gennaro who was martyred for the faith in 305 A.D. Immigrants who had settled along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of New York City continued their traditional celebration with a one day Feast. September 19th is the most religious day of the Festival of San Gennaro, and features a Religious Procession followed by Celebratory Mass at the Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street, the National Shrine of San Gennaro.
Feast of San Gennaro Events
- Thursday, September 12 (Opening Day) from 2-3 PM - 12th Annual Cannoli Eating Contest: The Performance Stage
6-7 PM - The Blessing of the Stands: Parish Priests from Most Precious Blood Church walk through the streets blessing all the restaurants, cafes, shops and vendors
- Saturday, September 14 (Grand Procession) from 2 PM - Colorful parade with floats, marching bands, musical entertainers, and the Statue of San Gennaro.
- Thursday, September 19th - The Official Feast Day
6 PM: Celebratory Mass in honor of San Gennaro at The Most Precious Blood Church.
7 PM: Religious Procession - Statue of San Gennaro carried through the Feast immediately after Celebratory Mass
Things to Do at the Feast of San Gennaro
- Have lunch or dinner at one of Little Italy's restaurants
- Watch one of the Processions
- Listen to the musical performances
- Try your luck at the many carnival games
- Eat traditional San Gennaro Festival foods from street vendor along Mulberry Street
- Zeppole - fried dough with powdered sugar
- Mostaccioli Riepeni - Italian chocolate cookies with fruit and nuts inside
- Gelato - that's Italian for ice cream
- Torrone - Italian candy made from honey, sugar and egg whites
- Pork Braciole - thinly pounded pork rolled up with garlic, cheese, pepper, and oregano inside
- Fried Oreos
- Sausage and Peppers
Getting to the Feast of San Gennaro
- The Feast runs along Mulberry Street, between Canal Street (on south) and Houston Street (on north). It takes place east to west on Grand Street, between Mott and Baxter Street, and east to west on Hester Street, between Mott and Baxter Streets.
- Festival vendors are open from 11:30am to 11:30pm (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays)
- The closest subways to the Feast of San Gennaro are the 6 to Spring Street and the N/R to Prince Street.
Tips for Visiting the Feast of San Gennaro
- Crowds tend to be biggest on weekends and in the evening. Go on a weekday if you want to avoid them.
- If you're bringing small children, you will find it easiest to navigate the narrow streets if you wear them in a carrier, but a stroller is a good idea if you're worried about keeping track of bigger kids in the crowd.
- Take some time to assess the various vendors and what you'd like to eat -- you'll be full before you reach the next stand if you don't pace yourself.