Get ready, party people, because Bensonhurst’s 18th Avenue Feast is back!
The 41st annual Festa di Santa Rosalia starts August 18, on the boulevard named for Cristoforo Colombo, between 68th Street and 75th Street, and continues through August 28.
On weekdays, the Feast will bring delicious food, live music, rides, and carnival games to the strip from 6pm to 11pm. Weekends start earlier, with the festival running from 11am to 11pm.
The 10-day event honors the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily, where the “Festa” has been celebrated continuously since 1624. Organizers of the Bensonhurst event say it is the largest Italian-American festival in Brooklyn.
This year, the shrine and statue dedicated to Saint Rosalia — which has endured decades of wear and tear — has been restored with a new paint job and other touch ups thanks to a generous donation from one parishioner named Cosmo Campanella.
“There was a chip on the hand last year, and that’s been fixed, and it looks just wonderful,” said festival organizer Angelo Timoneri. “It’s a must-see.”
The Feast kicks off with a concert by Staten Island-based cover band Good Noise, and local elected officials and community leaders — including Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president Carlo Scissura, Borough President Eric Adams, Councilman Mark Treyger, Senator Marty Golden, Assemblyman Peter Abbate, Councilman Vincent Gentile — will be honored on the opening day.
Timoneri recommends neighbors also show up on Saturday, August 27, when Gio Vanutto Band will spin their classic mix of old and new dance tunes, and for the finale on August 28, when the wedding band’s spinoff R3 Brothers will perform. “The last two days are going to be awesome. These guys are out of this world,” said Timoneri.
The festival will culminate on August 28 with a procession up 18th Avenue and then back down 20th Avenue to Saint Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church (2001 Bay Ridge Parkway). The march will be followed by a 3pm mass at the church, and, as always, parishioners will be treated to free cannoli and refreshments, courtesy of Villabate Alba, after the service.
If you are a business owner and would like to rent a space at this year’s Feast, the person to contact is Frank at (516) 428-1077, or Timoneri at (718) 234-0160.
Check out these photos from last year’s Feast and see the flyer below!