Hoboken Italian Festival to kick off four-day celebration

Sep 06, 2015 724

The Hoboken Italian Festival, also known as the Feast of the Madonna Dei Maritiri or "The Feast," will run from Sept. 10 to 13. First held at the end of the 14th century, the festival pays tribute to Madonna dei Martiri – a religious tradition that began in 1188 when crusaders arriving at the port of Molfetta on Italy's Adriatic coast found an icon of the Virgin Mary floating in the water. A number of Italian-Americans in the community trace their heritage back to Molfetta and "The Feast" has been celebrated in Hoboken for the past 88 years.

"This year we have a couple of new things as well," said Greg Gallo, a member of the Society Madonna dei Martiri, which produces the event. "The [54 year-old] statue of the saint was restored this year and we imported our arches all the way from the fest in Italy."

The festival will include a procession, food, games, amusement rides, face-painting, magicians, stilt walkers, a cannoli-eating contest, fireworks, live music, a grape-stomping competition, and a Frank Sinatra singing contest.

The procession, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 12, begins at 1:30 p.m. at St. Francis Church at 308 Jefferson St., heads into the Hudson River via the ferries, and returns to the festival's location at Sinatra Park, Sinatra Drive and River Road.

On Thursday, 80's tribute band Rock Kandy will honor Jon Bon Jovi and Italian Sound will perform as well. Friday, dubbed "Freestyle Friday," will feature Latin freestyle vocal group TKA, Latin singer Coro, and pop/rock band RocKel. Sunday's lineup includes Garden State Jazz Orchestra, Blame It On The Girl, The Surftunes – A Nationally Touring Salute to the Beach Boys, and "My Kind Of Town," Best of the Best Sinatra Tribute Contest with special guest judges.

The Italian Festival will run from 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. To learn more visit www.hobokenitalianfestival.com.

Source: http://hudsonreporter.com/

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