PHOTO: Little Italy’s Feast of San Gennaro Fills Up on Tradition

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Thousands are expected to visit Little Italy for the 87th annual celebration of faith, the Feast of San Gennaro, which runs Sept. 12-22 in New York. What began in 1926 as a one-day religious festival by immigrants from Naples has become a cultural tradition recognized and embraced worldwide.

NATIONAL SHRINE OF SAN GENNARO AT CHURCH OF MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD IN LITTLE ITALY, NY

NATIONAL SHRINE OF SAN GENNARO AT CHURCH OF THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD IN LITTLE ITALY, NY

Presented by Figli di San Gennaro, Inc., highlights include a procession and special Mass held for Naples’ patron saint at the historic Church of the Most Precious Blood. But, many flock downtown just for a never-ending sampling of deep-fried sweets, savory mouth-watering delicacies, people-watching and the famous cannoli-eating competition hosted by Ferrara Bakery & Cafe. Congrats to Yasir Salem, who took first-place after eating 31 3/4 cream-filled pastries in six minutes.

YASIR SALEM, 36, SPEAKS WITH REPORTERS AFTER WINNING FERRARA'S CANNOLI-EATING CONTEST

YASIR SALEM, 36, SPEAKS WITH REPORTERS AFTER WINNING FERRARA’S CANNOLI-EATING CONTEST

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A lot has changed since that first neighborhood street festival, but don’t miss out if you’re in the the storied vicinity. Take a look at some of the happenings this year in my latest photo gallery (link below).

Recommended:

San Gennaro: http://www.sangennaro.org

2013 San Gennaro photo gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajournalist/sets/72157635526629861/

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