Train your stomach to stretch a little more this weekend. There is currently a major Italian food and culture street festival in Jersey City.
The Festa Italiana at Holy Rosary Church began on August 10 and will continue until August 14. This year marks the 119th edition of the festival, which is an ode to Italian-American culture in its entirety. Celebrating Italy’s immigrant history, rich culinary heritage and religious faith, La Festa Italiana is a warm event open to all.
The event got its start over 100 years ago and still draws huge crowds today. Visitors can expect to find local restaurants and vendors setting up shop and selling authentic Italian delicacies (like zeppole, a traditional fried pastry), as well as live entertainment, games, and rides. On the last day of the event, a mass is celebrated and the statues of Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Rocco are carried through the streets accompanied by a brass band. To end the day on a superlative note, the organizers draw the winner of a Super 50/50 Cash Raffle. Be sure to participate: the average prize is usually over $10,000.
The Festa Italiana is located at 344 Sixth Street, Jersey City. You can head to historic downtown Jersey City to find it. Street parking is available in the neighborhood, or you can take the nearby PATH train to Grove Street.
For more information and a full schedule of events, you can visit the La Festa Italiana website.