San Gennaro feast marks 78th year
The 78th annual Feast of San Gennaro, centered on Mulberry St. between Canal and Houston Sts., begins its 11-day celebration honoring the patron saint of Naples on Thurs. Sept. 15.
Sponsored since 1996 by Figli di San Gennaro (Children of San Gennaro), the street fair runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day and includes nightly entertainment at Baxter and Grand Sts. on the main stage where Bruce Cousin Brucie Morrow will broadcast his Sirius Satellite Radio show Sat. Sept. 17.
The heart of the festival is Mon. Sept. 19, the day dedicated to San Gennaro, who was martyred for his faith in 305 A.D. Reverend Fabian Grafone, pastor of Most Precious Blood Church, 109 Mulberry St., will celebrate a solemn mass at 6 p.m. followed by a procession with the statue of the saint wheeled through the streets.
The cannoli-eating contest, with Ferrara of Grand St. providing the cannoli, takes place at 2 a.m. Fri. Sept. 16.
The president of Figli di San Gennaro, Frank Macchiarola, president also of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, said the organization has donated more than $1.2 million to charity since taking over the festival in 1996.