The Feast of San Gennaro is held in Little Italy for 11 days from Thursday, September 12, through Sunday, September 22, 2013, on the streets of historic Little Italy, the lower Manhattan neighborhood which served as the first home in America for hundreds of thousands of Italian immigrants who came here seeking to improve their lives beginning in the early part of the 20th century.
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.
Thursday, September 12 (Opening Day)
2 to 3 PM – 12th Annual Cannoli Eating Competition
The Performance Stage at the northwest corner of Grand and Mott Streets will be the site of this eating competition, sanctioned by The International Federation of Competitive Eaters, to determine who can eat the most cannoli within a given six-minute period? The winner will be recognized as The World’s Champion Cannoli Eater. Trophies will be awarded to the 2nd and 3rd Place finishers.
6 to 7 PM – Blessing of the Stands
Parish Priests from Most Precious Blood Church will walk through the streets of the Feast blessing all the restaurants, cafes, shops and vendors so that they will all have a successful Feast.
There will be two Processions, each featuring the Statue of San Gennaro. Each one will begin at Most Precious Blood Church — The Religious Procession (Thursday, September 19) will start from the Patio entrance of the church on Mulberry Street, and the Grand Procession (Saturday, September 14) will begin at the Baxter Street entrance to the church. Both Processions will proceed north on Mulberry to Houston, then move south on Mott to Grand, where they will turn right on Grand to Baxter Street.
The Parades are scheduled as follows:
Saturday, September 14 (Grand Procession) 2 PM – A colorful parade with floats, marching bands, musical entertainers and the Statue of San Gennaro through the streets of Little Italy. The Grand Marshall will be the legendary Bronx-born singer/songwriter DION, a performer of extraordinary versatility and resonance who, in the heydays of the 50’s, helped define rock ‘n’ roll for a generation of music lovers.
Thursday, September 19 (Official Feast Day) 6 PM — A Celebratory High Mass in honor of San Gennaro in Most Precious Blood Church, the National Sanctuary of San Gennaro
7 PM — A Religious Procession in which the Statue of San Gennaro is carried through the streets of the Feast.
There will be musical entertainment to satisfy all tastes, ranging from Italian folk songs and opera, to rock ‘n roll and doo wop to old standards. There will also be live radio broadcasts from this stage during the feast.
Performance times will be scheduled on the stage as follows: Mondays through Thursdays, 5:30 to 9:30 PM; Fridays, 5:30 to 10:00 PM; Saturdays, 12 Noon to 10 PM; and Sundays, 12 Noon to 9:30 PM.
The performances and demonstrations will be held on the Feast Performance Stage that will be located at the intersection of Grand and Mott Streets in the heart of Little Italy.
Although this is an annual celebration of faith, the Feast of San Gennaro is known the world over for its festive atmosphere, an 11-day event featuring religious processions and colorful parades, free musical entertainment every day, a wide variety of ethnic food delicacies, charming restaurants and cafes and even a world-famous cannoli-eating competition! The central focus of the celebration takes place every September 19th, the official Saint Day when a celebratory Mass is held in Most Precious Blood Church, followed immediately by a religious procession in which the Statue of San Gennaro is carried from its permanent home in the church through the streets that comprise Little Italy.