Little Italy’s most prominent street festival is in full swing again: The Feast of the San Gennaro! What once used to be a one-day-ordeal has turned into a 10-day-worship of Saint Januarius and it has caused the streets around Mulberry to be healthily clustered with all kinds of people since the historic date of 1926. It is now running in its 89th season and next year will mark the golden anniversary of 90 years (what a day to celebrate!).
Perhaps you were just looking for a bite and stumbled across fried oreos, chopped-up toblerone and yummy ice cream. Or maybe you were on your way to Chinatown when you came across the barriers and wondered what was going on. Perhaps you even have a self-proclaimed affinity for greasy sausages and spicy pickles. Whatever the reason may be – the Feast of the San Gennaro will surely slow you down. So far this has been my third time since coming to New York that I was able to catch a peek at how stuffy exactly Mulberry Street is on said ten days.
A stretch of more than ten street blocks up and a few blocks to the right and left tend to be taped off so that visitors can pass through the exorbitant amount of street vendors. If you’re looking for a bite to eat or music entertainment or souvenirs – you will pretty much find everything your hungry heart desires here. While masses can become quite overwhelming on weekend nights, I was still very much surprised at how many people were strolling the streets on this sunny Tuesday evening. I guess by now I should be used to it. Highlight of the festival is of course the Statue of Saint Januarius, which is erected in front of a church close to Canal Street. Here you can donate your money, soul or heart and pray for better (or less heavy) times if you are in the mood.
The San Gennaro Fest runs from September 10th to 20th, as to which you still have 5 fatty days left to pick up your feet and shuffle over there!