PHOTOS: Little Italy’s fun returns at the San Gennaro festival



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Mulberry Street in Little Italy was packed on Saturday as thousands flocked to the third day of the feast of San Gennaro – the patron saint of Naples.

Watching the crowds, most of them unmasked, the jubilant consent of visitors and vendors was that “New York is back,” as the iconic party – which spans 11 blocks of the Little Italy neighborhood and s’ rapidly approaching its 100th birthday – returned on Sept. 16 after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Fratta, vice president of Figli di San Gennaro, said he feels fantastic that San Gennaro is back and that the tradition continues. His great-grandfather was the first president of the festival, which began in 1926.

“Last year was a disappointment for all of us,” Fratta said, referring to last year’s party being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He urged people to be “smart” and wear a mask when visiting the party this year.

“We had a lot of people going out the first night,” Fratta explained. “There were a lot more people than ever before. I think people just want to go out.

A marching band entertains visitors to the Feast of San Gennaro on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
Thousands of people visited the San Gennaro party on Mulberry Street in Little Italy on September 18 after it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
Employees of Mike’s Clam Bar throw in fresh oysters for patrons visiting the San Gennaro party on Mulberry Street in Little Italy on September 19. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

For Kathy and Randall Slane from Park Slope, Brooklyn, it was the second time they had attended the party. The couple had left California in late 2019 and eagerly awaited whatever New York City has to offer, but COVID-19 then halted their plans to explore the city last year.

“Oh man, it’s great to be here and to have everyone together. It’s New York as far as I’m concerned, ”said Randall.

“Especially after COVID. It’s nice to see everyone come out, ”added Kathy. “So for us, in particular, it’s so nice to get the city back to normal.”

They weren’t too concerned with the Delta variant because both are vaccinated, and Kathy said she was an avid hand-washing enthusiast.

“I think if you are careful and careful you are safe,” said Kathy. “New York has such a high vaccination rate and such a low positivity rate right now, I think we both feel pretty safe. “

Luke McDonough, who attended the party with his friends Lexy Leeds and Robbie Rice, claimed his Italian roots because his mother is Italian.

All of them are former Fordham students, and they used to go to the San Gennaro festival in the Bronx. But now they live on Mulberry Street, and McDonough joked that ten days might be a bit long because when he has to go to work, “there are all these parties.”

“It’s a big festival celebrating my legacy, and I’m very happy to be here,” McDonough said. “I love it. I love cigar smoke, all guys. It’s funny.”

“It’s nice to see New York City come back to the streets,” added Lexy Leeds.

Luke McDonough, Lexy Leeds and Robbie Rice are enjoying the San Gennaro party when they return to Little Italy after it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
The feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy is fun for the kids. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
There are many dining options available to visitors to The Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
Even mediums have settled down at the feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
A statue of San Gennaro sits on an altar on Mulberry Street in Little Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Ilana Buczyner immigrated from Italy at the age of six. She said she liked Italians. His parents are Holocaust survivors and the Italian people saved his life.

She was still worried about COVID-19, mainly because of the crowds on Mulberry Street, but said, “I love the variety of people in New York who come out. Stop the Corona.

Vinny scuzzese owns a basket throwing stand, which he brought to New York from the Jersey Shore. He admitted that last year he was depressed because he didn’t know if he would come back, but he felt good about attending this year.

“I thought it was going to be a little quirky, sweet,” Vinny said. “But Thursday, Friday and today is very good. So far people are coming out. So I’m happy with it. “

The party runs until September 26.


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