food & drink · music & nightlife · attractions & tours ·
Published August 21, 2023
Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 Feast of San Gennaro
Celebrate the Best of Italy in NYC with food, live music, parades, and more 🇮🇹🍝
by New York Bucket List
The Annual Feast of San Gennaro returns to Little Italy this September for 11 days of food, fun, and festivities. As one of the largest and most anticipated street festivals in the city, "The Feast of all Feasts" brings in thousands of visitors to sample the best Italian cuisine in the city, play games, catch special performances, and more.
We rounded up all the details below, including dates, times, locations, and which events you definitely don't want to miss (did someone say "cannoli-eating contest?"). Check out our go-to guide for everything you need to know about the 2023 Feast of San Gennaro.
What is the Feast of San Gennaro?
The Feast celebrates the life of San Gennaro of Naples, Bishop of Benevento, Italy, who was martyred in 305 AD. In 1926, Italian immigrants who had settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan decided to have a one-day block party for their patron saint and protector of Naples. That tradition continued and expanded year after year and has now become an iconic New York event, spanning 11 days, that draws in both locals and tourists from around the globe.
When is this year's Feast of San Gennaro?
This year's celebration kicks off on Thursday, September 14, and runs through Sunday, September 24. Various events will take place throughout the 11 days, including a parade, an evening High Mass celebrating San Gennaro, and a free opera performance. See our round-up of can't-miss events below for specific dates and times.
Where is the Feast of San Gennaro?
The festivities primarily take place in Manhattan’s historic Little Italy neighborhood along Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets. Mulberry Street, where most of the action is, transforms into a bustling and lively hub of food, music, religious processions, and entertainment.
What to Expect
Visitors can expect all the trademarks of a classic street fair: carnival games, street vendors, performances, and rides (including a Ferris wheel). The Feast of San Gennaro draws large crowds, especially on weekends and evenings. Consider visiting during off-peak hours to avoid the heaviest foot traffic. Weekday afternoons can be a great time to explore without the crowds.
One of the highlights of the feast is the incredible variety of Italian food on offer. Instead of sticking to just one dish, consider sampling a few different items from various vendors to get a true taste of the culinary delights.
Feast of San Gennaro Event Schedule
25th Annual Cannoli Eating Contest:
September 16th, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Watch contestants make their way through a pile of cream-filled pastries from Ferraro’s Bakery.
The Grand Procession:
September 17th, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Catch floats, celebrities, gondolas, and antique cars at this iconic event.
Solemn High Mass:
September 19th, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Solemn High Mass: Honor the Patron Saint of Naples at the Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood.
26th Annual Enrico Caruso Opera Night:
September 20th, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Listen to a free Opera concert celebrating the world-famous Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso.
2nd Annual Pizza Eating Contest:
September 23rd, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Here’s your chance to eat as much pizza as possible as fast as you can.
Musical Tribute to the Armed Forces:
September 24th, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear a moving performance by some of NYC’s finest musicians.
5th Annual Meatball Eating Contest:
September 25th, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Another food-eating contest, this time with an Italian staple: meatballs.
More information on the Annual Feast of San Gennaro.
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