Feast of San Gennaro set to take the streets of Little Italy
Little Italy's Feast of San Gennaro is set to kick off its 87th annual festival Thursday as more than a million revelers are expected to show up.
The celebration, which will run until Sept. 22, will feature a cannoli eating contest, a grand procession with floats and marching bands, free entertainment daily, a pizza eating contest and more.
"This Feast of San Gennaro holds a special place in the place of Italian people everywhere," said Joseph Mattone, President of Figli di San Gennaro, Inc.
"It is a festive period of faith and redemption, a time for remembrance and reconciliation, and a time for celebration," he said.
"The delicious food, the free musical entertainment that reflects Italian-American culture and heritage are all there," he added.
Some of the major events to check out over the next week-and-a-half:12th Annual Cannoli Eating Competition, Thursday between 2 p.m. and 3p.m.: Sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eaters, competitors will have six minutes to chow down on as many cannolis as they can.
Grand Procession, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.: Floats, marching bands, and the statue of San Gennaro will parade through the streets of Little Italy.
Pizza Eating Contest, Sept. 18 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.: Eaters will compete for top pizza honors in this annual tradition.
Feast Day, Sept. 19: A High Mass in honor of San Gennaro in Most Precious Blood Church, the National Sanctuary of San Gennaro, includes a performance from Cristina Fontanelli.