Come join the fun when Holy Rosary Church on Sixth Street in Historic Downtown Jersey City celebrates 112 years of bringing its community together for lively summer fun.
It's time once again for La Festa Italiana, an Old World Italian feast that honors the veneration of Maria SS. Dell'Assunta & San Rocco, and offers the Downtown community the opportunity to party with their neighbors. This year's La Festa Italiana features live bands, fun for the kids, food and souvenir vendors and traditional Italian delicacies made by Holy Rosary Church parishioners like Fresh Hot Zeppoles, Our Famous Rice Balls, and lemony Limoncello.
La Festa Italiana begins Wed, Aug. 12 and continues through Sun, Aug. 16, on Sixth & Brunswick Streets. For those five summer nights, the neighborhood surrounding Holy Rosary Church will come alive with rocking dance music, games of chance, kids' activities, and delicious Italian food and libations. La Festa Italiana runs 5 pm-11 pm Wednesday-to-Saturday, and Sunday, 12 noon till 9 pm, when the "Super 50/50" Raffle winner is chosen. Last year's ticket-holder won over $12,200.
Founded in 1885, Holy Rosary Church is the first Italian Roman Catholic Parish in New Jersey. Pastor of Holy Rosary Church, the Rev. Jerzy (Jurek) Zaslona, says La Festa Italiana pays tribute to the church's 130-year history and strengthens community ties.
"I thoroughly enjoy this five-night feast," Rev. Zaslona says. "As a church, we are here to serve the people of Jersey City and La Festa Italiana gives us the opportunity to become a stronger, more integrated community."
Every night La Festa Italiana has a 5-star line-up of bands and a rocking DJ, too. Here's the schedule:
Wed, Aug 12: THE TOGA PARTY BAND
Thurs, Aug 13: NINE DEEEZ BAND
Fri, Aug 14: THE SHOTS
Sat, Aug 15: TOTAL SOUL
Sun, Aug 16: DJ DAN OF BLUELINE PRODUCTIONS (1 pm)
WILLIAM POMPEO & THE PROS (5 pm)
Several local sponsors show their support for La Festa Italiana. The "Super 50/50" sponsor is Tony Ferrara & Associates of Jersey City, and the Hot Zeppoles sponsor is Introcaso-Angelo Funeral Home, also of Jersey City. The Brunswick School and the Brunswick Center in Jersey City are sponsors of Caffe Italiano and Our Famous Rice Balls.
This year's vendors include Gia's Gelato & Cafe, Delenio restaurant, Mayon Grill, and White Star Bar which will have two bars on Sixth Street and at Caffe Italiano. Also, be sure to visit Radical Wellness, which will have essential oils, teas, organic supplements & energy-therapy products for sale; and Lucky Honey Bee, which offers a full-range of natural bee products at affordable prices. Other 'stars' of La Festa Italiana are the Hourly 50/50s, and the popular Money Wheel. On Sat, Aug. 15, Holy Rosary Church parishioners who are Ferris High School alumni are invited to meet up at the 6th annual Ferris High School Reunion in the Holy Rosary Parish Center.
Religious traditions are another important highlight of La Festa Italiana. A Novena will be celebrated for nine days from August 6-14, in veneration to Our Lady of Assumption. On Sat., Aug. 15, the Assumption Feast Day Mass, in veneration to Maria SS. Dell'Assunta will be celebrated at 12 Noon; and on Sun., Aug 16, the St. Rocco Feast Day Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 am. A traditional Street Procession follows both Masses.
"Traditions and customs define us as a community," Rev. Zaslona says. "As a country we have traditions and customs that are recognized and embraced by those who come here; the same with our traditions as a church. People like to become part of established traditions, therefore, it is important to cultivate and cherish these traditions for generations to come."
La Festa Italiana is Holy Rosary Church's special way of saying thank you to its parishioners and neighbors, and celebrates 130 years of serving the spiritual needs of its parish and the Historic Downtown community. For many years, La Festa Italiana has been the church's biggest fundraiser for the restoration and upkeep of the church. During La Festa Italiana 2015, the church will be open to parishioners and guests who can see up close the magnificent beauty that is Holy Rosary Church.
PLEASE NOTE: Editors, reporters, and photographers interested in covering
La Festa Italiana, please call 201-776-9222 or 201-795-0120.
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