Manhattan Celebrates 81st Annual Feast of San Gennero

The 81st Annual Feast of San Gennaro was held recently in Manhattan’s Little Italy turning Mulberry Street into a touch of all things Italian.

The heart of Little Italy alive with tradition.

The festival, since 1996, has been organized by Figli di San Gennaro, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to honoring the tradition of the Patron Saint of Naples, San Gennero, as well as the thousands of stories that have passed through this little slice of Italy on New York’s lower East Side. 

Funnel cakes with confectionary sugar and Zeppoles.

The festival attracts throngs of people every year and this year was no different with over one million visitors converging on the streets of Little Italy.  Entering Mulberry Street off Canal, the split between New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy, the street was filled with all the sights and sounds of an Italian street fair.

The food vendors fill Mulberry Street with all treats Italian.

Paying tribute to the history of Little Italy, both factual and mythical, one can live out Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather or a Martin Scorsese film walking the old streets of the neighborhood. The most notorious leader, former Mob Boss John Gotti still lives in spirit as does the presence of mythical GoodFellows, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino and Ray Liotta. During the festival the shops are open and the memorabilia is exactly what one would expect. Maps of the Mob Boss’ homes, for the brave at heart, are available for five dollars. 

Mythical and factual the San Gennero Festival celebrates both.

Food vendors offer everything from steaming hot sausage sandwiches filled with a combination of green and red peppers with onions dripping over the edge of an oversized hoagie roll to the traditional Cannoli: a hardened manicotti style pastry shell filled with a sweet cream cheese mixture with chocolate chips and topped with powdered sugar.

Rings of sausage being prepared for the traditional stuffed sausage and pepper sandwiches.

Umberto’s famous seafood restaurant is open to the public and offers fried calamari, baked clams on the half shell, fried squid, shrimp and other seafood delicacies. Umberto’s offers in-door and outdoor service during the festival and throughout the year. The tourists are attracted to this famous Italian eatery for other, more grisly, reasons as there has been more than one famous mob hit near this infamous corner in the heart of Little Italy.

A favorite Little Italy hang out and home of some of the best seafood and a few bits of mob history.

Italians are famous for good times, good food, a little wine and pizza! And yes, the festival has it all. Pastries, elegant decorative sculpted confectionary creations, mountains of whipped cream covering chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate covered bananas and bright red candied apples!

Perfectly sculpted, delicious, confectionary desserts.

Two of the more famous Italian desserts, deep fried Zeppoles and funnel cakes, are both created from liquid dough and in the case of Zeppoles scooped by hand into a vat of oil and cooked sitting on the surface until golden brown and then tossed by the half-dozen into a paper bag and doused with powdered sugar. Mmm delicious! 

Zeppoles an Italian favorite are cooked in an open vat.

Pizza! From the cheese pie to the pineapple pie they are all in abundance and available in the heart of Little Italy. Slices, inside a paper plate folded in half, with cheese stretching from each bite are a common sight.

Pizza! An Italian specialty is available with every topping imaginable.

Ethnic food vendors line Mulberry street offering everything from the traditional Italian pizza to the extreme Bracciole sandwiches and cannolis, cannolis, cannolis! From one to one dozen and even a cannoli eating contest is featured during the festival’s celebration!

Canolli’s, Canolli’s, Canolli’s what would an Italian festival be without them? Chocolate covered canolli filled with sweet cream (rear).

The celebration of the Italian culture and the Patron Saint of Naples, San Gennero, is held annually in September and is accompanied by two parades and a religious procession in honor of the Patron Saint. There is something for everyone: food, fun, culture, history and a traditional Catholic Mass!

Chocolate covered bananas and red Candied Apples.

The two parades, each featuring the Statue of San Gennero, begin on Mulberry Street between Canal and Bayard Streets, and proceed along Mulberry Street to East Houston Street.

On Mulberry Street, from Canel to Bayard Street Little Italy is a celebration!

All photos by Janet Walker courtesy of Pulse Point Productions, Inc.:

Top of Page
Join Splash Magazines

Feature Article

Tempflow™ and Tempur-Pedic® Reviews - What 35 Hours of Research Uncovered

Want Your Business to Male a Splash
<!-- #wrapper -->