NYC Lets San Gennaro Festival Run Its Full Course

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy will not be downsized in September.

San Gennaro Festival

The San Gennaro Festival runs 11 days in Little Italy and Nolita. (Credit: CBS 2)

The Community Board and high-end boutique owners wanted the festival scaled back by three blocks because of noise, crowds and smells.

The tradition that started more than 85 years ago has drawn so much negative attention that members of the Community Board 2 were trying to cut down the festival. Instead of running seven blocks along Mulberry Street to Houston, it would stop three blocks short at Kenmare.

SEE: Photo Gallery – San Gennaro Festival 2010

Some local shops and boutiques claim the 11-day event dramatically lowers their profits because the festival runs from 11 a.m. until 12:30 at night.

“It killed our business pretty much for two weeks out of the summer, which should be our busiest time,” Emily Snell, of the Paul Frank Store, said. “It’s unfortunate for business owners around this area.”

“Trash, noise, breaking the rules. So many people. Just complete chaos. I don’t even want to be here,” resident Courtney Hewitt said.

What do you think? Leave a comment below…

The San Gennaro faithful wanted the tradition to stay. “For shop owners in what they call NoLita to say they can’t make money with a million people walking the streets, either their business concept is totally off or something’s wrong with what they’re selling,” said John Fratta, Figli Di San Gennaro Board Member.

“This is a neighborhood and a city event that must continue,” said resident Bob Marshall. “If they cut it three blocks this year, what are they going to want next year? It’s sort of a ‘starve the beast’ if they can get it out and what they’re trying to do is to change the culture of the neighborhood.”

“It’s an 85-year-old tradition. When these people rented their stores, rented their apartments, it was here. It wasn’t a secret come September the streets were going to turn into a carnival,” Figli Di San Gennaro board member Ernest Magliato said.

The city granted the festival, which runs from September 15 through the 25th, a permit to run its full length from Canal to Houston streets. However, it will begin 30 minutes later every day, and end 30 minutes earlier on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • JR

    Kills business 2 weeks of the summer???? Please, only 1/2 of the schedule is actually in summer, the rest is after September 21, when fall starts, and sorry, the main part if summer is gone by the time the fest starts. Kids have already been back in school for at least 2 weeks before it starts!

  • Ghengis Khan

    This event is one of few things left in this city with any soul or culture. Thanks to corporate America and its yuppie sheep with their midwest values, this city is just an empty shell of what once was….. I miss New York.

  • yoel goldstein

    AWWWW poor gentrified, yuppie store owners lose out on their Tahiti trip money…… can i get you a Kleenex?? They should make the festival even bigger. Its the only sense of real culture this GENTRIFIED shell of a city has left!!

    • jack tripper

      I agree Yoel, remember ethnic neighborhoods in Manhattan? Remember good food? Remember America?

  • Joey A

    Move an Italian festival from Little Italy? How about moving the Thanksgiving Parade from Manhattan altogether? Oh wait, that would impact all those businesses….how come they have no problem selling when the streets are closed?

    • chang

      Because its not in a commercial district, its in a place where rich people have already hopped their flight to the south of France for the long weekend….its just housesitters and pets that have to hear the parade…..i dont feel bad for these store owners, most are wealthy people just playing with their money anyway….who else could afford commercial rent there??

  • NewYork Corruption

    Why does it run 11 days? No other cultural event in NYC runs that long. I bet some politicians are getting a fat payback.

    • moderateguy

      the length of time doesn’t translate to being the most lucrative cultural event my friend…there are 3 hour parades that make more money… WASP and Jewish neighborhoods……so who’s getting the payback?

  • Jeff

    This commercialized festive should NOT be in a residential area. Alcohol is consumed at this festive and has no place in a residential area with children. It should be moved to a non-residential location.

    • Joe

      children?? since when is Manhattan a family place??? Move to NJ Jeff!!! or back to Ohio! Its that thinking that has made this city lose its flavor and soul.

  • VY

    This is like someone complaining about the noise of the elevated subway line, even though they moved into that place because it was near the subway.
    The festival was there WAY before they moved in.
    No one tried to hide the festival from them.
    They knew the festival was there BEFORE they moved in, and they moved in anyway.
    Shut up and deal.

  • Moe

    I feel sorry for the residents that live there. The noise will keep the young children and babies from getting any sleep. Anybody who wakes up early to go to work will definitely not get enough sleep from the noise. Why does it run 11 days? No other cultural event in NYC runs that long.

    • voiceofreason

      children?? since when is Manhattan a family place??? Move to NJ Moe!!! or back to Ohio! Its that thinking that has made this city lose its flavor and soul.

  • Snooki

    Umma flash my yabbos for San Gennaro. Or maybe I should just cover them with (cooled) zeppole, huh?

    • jack tripper

      lmao whoever wrote this just made my entire day

  • Bill Galluccio

    I’m glad the city held its ground. The only thing I don’t understand is why make it shorter on the weekends? Why not make it end earlier Monday-Thursday and keep it open on the weekends?

  • JoeZ

    The festival has been a tradition for years. Most of these shop owners complaining have no regard for tradition or ethnic pride. It’s an Italian-American celebration and people come from all over, even charted buses to com to the festival and have a good time. The shop owners knew of the yearly festival, and if sales are down, maybe they should stop trying to pedal overpriced merchandise to working class people. Just another attempt by the “social elite” to take the city away from real New Yorkers and make it a destination for their privileged elitist friends.

  • lrperreault

    I agree with the comment – store owners and new residents knew the festival was part of the neighborhood culture when they rented there.. deal with it. Its the defining face of Little Italy.

    • Vito Pastrami

      I thought the defining face of L’il Itlee was goombas, hair gel, and wife-beater t-shoits.

  • Jules

    It’s a tradition that we look forward to every September, wouldn’t miss it. Can’t take the heat, close your shop for 2 weeks and take a vacation. When you come back, there will be peace and quite. The festival will be over and you won’t even know it.

  • Homie

    What festival? All it is are some bigmouths making sausage and zeppolis in the street.

    • Muscles Marinara

      You like the sausage, eh, Homie?

      • peter

        I think Homie enjoys sausage

  • Ralph D

    This is for XYZ. I think you just like to hear yourself talk. Here’s why: you just said nothing.

    • XYZ

      Up yours!

  • XYZ

    SAN GENNARO FESTIVAL = another pagan ceebration “dressed up” by the Catholic morons for their even dumber sheeple.

    • HUGO

      I’m sure you think the gay parade is a cultural treasure though.

      • EL GORDITO


  • Carlos Liriano

    the festival of San Gennaro should never be downsized for the interest of few of the new people in the area, may the festival runs for another 100 years

  • Anna

    Why don’t they try to shorten the Puerto Rican day parade.????? Sure Cancel all the American traditions and keep glorifying all the other ethnic parades . The shops who want to end the tradition should be boycotted .

  • jimbo hector

    Damm skippy! A big ole middle finger to any and all who wanted to change the festival. You lost deal with it!

  • ,al

    That’s right … the Johnny Come Lately’s always want to change the rules to serve their interests, the traditions in the neighborhoods be damned. They knew when they moved to the area that the festival was held there every September. What gives them to right to move in and try to abolish it?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live