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When is the San Gennaro festival?

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LITTLE ITALY, Manhattan — The 90th Annual Feast of San Gennaro begins Thursday and runs through Sunday, Sept. 25.

The streets of Little Italy will be lined with Italian culinary delicacies, religious processions and parades all in celebration and honor of the Patron Saint of Naples, St. Januarius, or St. Gennaro.

Festival goers can also partake in the annual cannoli eating contest on Sept. 16, hear live musicians every night and attend Opera night on Sept. 21.

The first festival was held in 1926 by newly arrived Italian immigrants who settled along Mulberry Street in what is now called Little Italy, according to the festival's website. Immigrants wished to continue the tradition they started in Italy, which celebrates the day in 305 A.D. when St. Gennaro was martyred for his faith.

Over the years, the festival has expanded to an 11-day event.

This year on Sept. 17, a grand procession with floats will start in the afternoon. Food lovers can also attend a meatball focused event on Sept. 24.

Every year on Sept. 19, a feast day mass and procession is held in honor of St. Gennaro. The procession includes a statue of St. Gennaro, and travels along Mulberry and Mott streets. The mass is held at the Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street, the National Shrine of San Gennaro, according to the festival website.