Feast of San Gennaro at the Jersey Shore
Presented by Nicchio Ristorante
Chairman: Dr. Dan Di Cesare
Honorary Chairs: Senator Joseph F. Vitale and Congressman Frank Pallone
Son of San Gennaro: Monmouth County Freeholder, Thomas A. Arnone
Daughter of San Gennaro: Maria Boccia
San Gennaro Italian Business Person of the Year: Joe Leone
The Borough of Belmar, home to seafood festivals, sandcastle contests, Monmouth County’s best beach and the state’s biggest St. Patrick’s Parade, is welcoming another cultural celebration. The Feast of San Gennaro at the Jersey Shore, presented by Nicchio Ristorante, will fill the streets of downtown Belmar on Saturday and Sunday, September 8th and 9th.
“The original San Gennaro Festival started in Little Italy in 1926 by newly arrived immigrants from Italy to honor St. Gennaro, the patron saint of their home town,” stated Dr. Dan Di Cesare, owner of Nicchio Ristorante and the brainchild behind the event. “They celebrated Italian food, wine and culture as a way of giving back to the community. We’re planning to do the same thing here in Belmar.”
The festival will feature plenty of Italian foods, wines, games and activities, starting with the traditional procession of the statue of San Gennaro, benefitting the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Look for eating contests, dancing, games for young and old, live entertainment and exciting special guests. Many of Belmar’s popular dining spots will take advantage of the festival to extend their seating outdoors. “We’re excited to have outdoor dining at Nicchio’s,” added Dr. Di Cesare.
Redefining the public image of Italian Americans at the Jersey Shore was a big motivation in developing the event, according to Dr. Di Cesare. “A lot of attention has recently been brought to the Jersey Shore and not all of it positive. Italian Americans have been responsible, important contributors to our society and culture - medicine, entertainment, sports and scientific advances. These two days are a way to remember the sacrifices our parents and grandparents made in helping to build this truly amazing country,” he said.
“It’s an honor for Belmar to host the first San Gennaro Festival at the Jersey Shore,” said Mayor Matt Doherty. “It’s a great opportunity for us to show off our fantastic restaurants, welcoming small town family atmosphere and all that’s great about the Jersey Shore.”
The festival will take place Saturday, September 8th (11am-10pm) and Sunday, September 9th (12pm-6pm) between 10th and 12th Avenues on Belmar’s Main Street. Interested vendors and sponsors should contact Dan Di Cesare at (732) 492-8621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.