Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Brooklyn Media Group/ Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
Brooklyn Media Group/ Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

The neighborhood may have changed over the years, but one Williamsburg tradition certainly still remains.

The Annual Giglio Italian Feast Spectacular kicked off on Wednesday, July 5 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, located at 275 North Eighth Street.

The 12-day world-class festival, which honors San Paolino with faith, feasting and music, has deep roots in Williamsburg’s Italian population.

“It’s a wonderful celebration of an Italian tradition,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, the parish’s spiritual leader, a Long Island City native who attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a child. “We had a terrific crowd and wonderful mass. The church was filled.”

The celebration first began in 1903, as a wave of Neapolitan immigrants from Italy settled in Williamsburg and brought the traditions of their homeland with them.

During the celebration, a five-story, hand-crafted tower featuring a statue of San Paolino and a 12-member brass band playing on a platform is lifted and carried by a 125-man group through the streets of Williamsburg. In keeping with tradition, an honored man of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish uses a megaphone to call out directions to the lifters.

Celebrants also re-enact the release of San Paolino from captivity, which includes the use of  an ornate, custom-made ship docking on the street. An array of Italian-themed souvenirs, rides and delicacies, such as zeppole and braciole, are also available for purchase.

“The neighborhood is different than it was 30 years, but I know some of the old timers are still around,” said Gigantiello. “My favorite part is being there every night and seeing so many people that come back to the neighborhood to visit their roots, where they were married, baptized and had children. They reacquaint themselves with old friends, family members, the neighborhood and the parish.

“Even though it’s changed and old people move out and new people move in, the church has continued to be the center of the community,” he added.

Comments:

Join The Discussion

x


Related Stories
PHOTOS: Bay Ridge rounds out month of celebration with annual St. Pat’s Parade
PHOTOS: Bay Ridge rounds out month of celebration with annual St. Pat’s Parade
Farewell mass held for Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello as he prepares for move to Williamsburg
Farewell mass held for Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello as he prepares for move to Williamsburg
Popular Stories
Brooklyn Media Group/Photos by Jonathan Sperling
Robert E. Lee plaques permanently removed from Bay Ridge church's property
Image via Google Maps
Man busted by cops for stealing over $170k of jewelry from Bay Ridge home
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photo: @NYC911News
Man jumps in front of Sunset Park N train
Skip to toolbar