Feast of Santa Rosalia kicks off

August 24, 2012 Denise Romano
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Forza Italia!

After a one year hiatus, the Feast of Santa Rosalia is back. From Thursday, August 24 to Monday, September 3, 18th Avenue between Bay Ridge Parkway and 67th Street will be filled with food, music and Italian pride.

Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who was upset that the Feast did not take place last year, expressed his happiness. ““A summer without the 18th Avenue Feast is like a summer without sunshine,” he told this paper. “I was thrilled to work with the organizers to help bring back this decades-old tradition. The Festa di Santa Rosalia – the great Italian-American cultural festival – lives on!”

Merchants along the avenue also welcomed the news.

“I am definitely happy it’s back. It’s something that is very much needed in this neighborhood,” said Emanuele Alaimo Jr., co-owner of Villabate Bakery, adding that he will be selling most of his daily items during the feast, but “spruced up,” including different marzipan fruits, pan pizzas, rice balls and special pastries.

“It’s something for the neighborhood to keep it alive,” Alaimo added.

Co-owner of Zio Nino’s Pizzeria, who is known simply as Zio Nino, said, “I am happy it’s back. It brings more people here.”

Giuseppe Maffei, manager at Gino’s Focacceria, had mixed feelings. “It’s 11 days straight. It’s going to kill me,” he said. “But the money is good, so I can’t complain. It’s a lot of work, a lot of hours [to put in].”

But those living near the festival did not have such kind words.

“I am not happy…it brings too many people,” said Bensonhurst native, Nick.

Bensonhurst resident Sky Listingi said, “I like the feast, I just don’t like that it’s so dirty.

“The Sanitation Department does not clean up until after it’s over,” she explained. “The trash sits on the sidewalk for over a week. Other than that, it’s a fun thing to do with the kids.”


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