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18th Avenue Feast to return to Bensonhurst

Organizers say that the cancelled 18th Avenue feast will return this year

Brooklyn Daily
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It’s back!

The 18th Avenue Feast, which was unceremoniously cancelled last year after three decades of capping off Bensonhurst’s summer season, will return next month in all its glory, organizers say.

“It’s happening,” said Carcione Damiano, President of the Santa Rosalia Society, the Italian-American club that organizes the feast that’s also known as the Festa di Santa Rosalia. “It’s done already. All the paperwork with the city is approved.”

Damiano said they city approved the permits for the feast, which will run along 18th Avenue between 67th to 75th streets from Aug. 24 to Sept. 3, on Wednesday. His group has just begun contacting merchants and vendors who participated in previous years.

“Everybody that used to be in it is going to get on board,” the Sicilian-born Bensonhurst resident said.

Organizers pulled the plug on the Feast last year, claiming that the city dragged its feet in issuing permits for the event — leaving them very little time to set everything up for its scheduled Aug. 25 kickoff. The city refuted those claims, however, claiming that organizers had temporary permits that allowed them to begin work.

Damiano said his organization wanted to bring the festival back because it was important for people living along the thoroughfare as well as the larger Italian-American population in the neighborhood.

“The whole population from 18th Avenue, and the people from Italy, we asked if they wanted it and they said ‘yes,’” Damiano said.

Festival decorations will begin going up next week, said Damiano, who promised that the Santa Rosalia Society will ensure that the Feast will continue for years to come.

“It’s going to go for another 70 years!” Damiano boasted.

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Reader Feedback

Renee from Bensonhurst says:
I am so glad to hear that the tradition of the 18th ave feast will continue, so many happy memories for me and my girlfriends growing up on 17th and 65th street. That corner was where Mama Sbarro's had her first store, and I remember going in there every week and seeing her and her husband working together and the smells of fresh basil, sauce, and mozzerella filled the air. those were some great times.

I live in suffolk county now, and there isnt a day I wish I could go back, and relive my childhood. Every person I meet says, "what kind of accent is that?" and I reply "The Best! I grew up in Bensonhurst".
July 29, 2012, 10:57 am
Brett from Bensonhurst from Bensonhurst says:
It's interesting that so many of the people who live in other boroughs and states and have such fond memories of the 18th avenue feast. Why don't they start their own society to honor St. Rosalie where they live. Better yet why don't the start the feast right on their block. I live in Bensonhurst and the feast is an eyesore. It makes our street dirty. Visitors urinate in our driveways. It brings in undesirables who break the law. Stay home
Aug. 10, 2012, 9:55 pm
richard from valleystream says:
i miss all the fights at the 18 ave feast because the food sucked
Aug. 31, 2012, 6:27 pm
Amy from Bensonhurst says:
I love the feast it's fun and my kids love it I can't wait!!!
Aug. 9, 2014, 1:30 pm

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