Things to Do in New York City: Feast of San Genarro Steet Festival September 08 2017

One of the best things to do in New York City is enjoying the simple fun and bustling excitement of a street fair.  If you will be in NYC in mid-September, then you may be in luck and you have to go down to historic Little Italy and relish in the joy that is the 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro.  This year, this festival will take place from September  14-24 and it opens every day at 11:30 AM and closes at 11 PM Sundays through Thursday's and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Enjoy free music entertainment each night from 7:30 to 9:30 PM (unless otherwise noted), in addition to free music and/or food demonstrations and lectures every afternoon between 2:00 and 5:00 PM on the FESTIVAL STAGE located at the corner of Grand and Mott Streets in Manhattan. 

This event is the annual salute to the Patron Saint of Naples.  While it has been taking place for 91 years, it has been hosted since 1996 by Figli di San Gennaro, Inc. (Children of San Gennaro), a nonprofit community organization committed to keeping alive the spirit and faith of the early Italian immigrants who lived in worked in this neighborhood in the early 20th century. While there are some religious components, everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy all things Italian, or more specifically all things Italian American in New York City. 

There are many things to experience at the Feast of San Gennaro including delicious Italian food, traditional street treats, exciting entertainment, unique vendors and the opportunity to see interesting people while participating in a time-honored, beloved NYC event. 

Things to do in New York San Genarro Festival


There are so many delicious options both familiar and brand new.  While the majority of items are culturally Italian, there are plenty of other options worth exploring too.  Pace your self so you can try as many as you would like.  

  • Wide variety of Italian meats including sausages, braciole, charcuterie, meatballs, roasted meat on a stick, prosciutto and more
  • Cannolis and other Italian pastries
  • Chicken, Veal and Eggplant Parmigiana
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian Doughnuts called Zeppolis
  • Arancini
  • Fried Ravioli
  • Soft Shell Crab
  • Shrimp Scampi on sticks
  • South American Arepas
  • Authentic New York Bagels with traditional flavors, spreads and toppings
  • Fair food like funnel cakes, cotton candy, fried Oreos, etc.
  • Torrone nougat and other candy from Piccola Casa Dolce
  • Gelato
  • Stromboli 
  • Fried and fresh oysters and clams
  • All sorts of delicious pizza



Things to Do in NYC San Gennaro Festival


There is an abundance of music, street performers, eating contests, traditional carnival games, and so much more, but just being there makes you feel part of something unique and incredibly entertaining.  There are some scheduled events, but there are plenty of things to see at any time you join the festivities. 

  • Ferris wheel
  • The Grand Procession with Chazz Palminteri serving as Grand Marshall takes place at 2 PM on Saturday, September 16. 

  • Opera Night on Monday, September 18
  • Annual Meatball Eating Contest hosted by Tony Danza at 1 PM on Saturday, September 23

  • In addition to the nightly free performances, there are many music, comedy and variety show acts present throughout the entire 11 day event


Tip:  Bring your own bottled water.  Save your money for the good eats at the Feast of San Gennaro.  

Check out a video of the history of it below:

Visiting the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy in September is one of the best things to do in New York.  The team at the New York Nightlife encourages you to enjoy and embrace Italian American culture at this fabulous, unforgettable street fair.