Belmar’s Main Street will be lined with the sights, sounds and aromas of Little Italy as the borough celebrates its second annual San Gennaro Festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 7th and 8th. Main Street will be lined with food vendors, crafters, and commercial vendors, and Belmar merchants will be out in force with special sidewalk sales and activities.
The weekend begins with the Mass of San Gennaro at St. Rose Church at 10 am on Saturday. Following the Mass, the March of San Gennaro will proceed down Main Street to the accompaniment of the Metropolitan Festival Band to the statue’s honorary placement at the 11th Avenue and Main. Donations to the statue will benefit Belmar’s Hurricane Relief Fund. The Mass will recognize this year’s honorees: Son of San Gennaro former state Senator Thomas Gagliano, Daughter of San Gennaro former Belmar councilwoman Claire Deike, and Businessman of the Year Thomas Faragalli, owner of T&T Coast Buick in Sea Girt. The honorees will be feted at a dinner at Brandl restaurant in Belmar on September 24th.
While you’re enjoying festival favorites like mouthwatering Italian sausages sandwiches, zeppoles, meatballs, eggplant, calamari, seafood specialties, gyros, and other Italian delicacies, you’ll want to move a little. Live entertainment throughout the weekend will have you dancing in the streets, with the Chuck Lambert Band performing from 3:00 until 5:00 on Saturday along with music by the Metropolitan Festival Band throughout the day. On Sunday DeLauro of The Rat Pack Band Swing Party Orchestra will perform Sinatra standards from noon until 3 pm, and the Jazz Lobsters Big Band swings from 4:00 until 6:00. Join Paolo Pasta Lanna and the team from Shake Rhythm & Roll for swing dance lessons in the street. Throughout the weekend, meet your friends and enter to win great prizes from NJ 101.5, 95.9 The RAT, the New Jersey Devils and FantaSeas Resorts.
The south end of the festival at 12th & Main Street will feature fun for the family throughout the weekend. The 21 and over crowd will enjoy the beer tent and wine garden in Memorial Field. Kids of all ages will have fun at the petting zoo, with pony and camel rides on Saturday and Sunday. Bring your lawn chairs to Memorial Field Saturday evening for a showing of the classic Italian food lovers’ favorite, The Big Night, featuring the music of Louis Prima and starring Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Isabella Rosellini and Minnie Driver.
Belmar’s San Gennaro Festival takes place from 11 am until 9 pm on Saturday September 7th and 11 am until 6 pm on Sunday September 8th. Admission is free, and parking is available at Belmar Plaza and local streets. NJ Transit’s North Jersey Coast Line stops a block away from the festival site. For more information, please see www.visitbelmarnj.com or call 732-681-3700 ext. 214.