NEW YORK (PIX11) — It’s that time of the year when Little Italy is flooded with New Yorkers gorging on sausage and peppers and cannolis at the Feast of San Gennaro.

The popular festival known for its food, entertainment, floats, and celebrities is celebrating its 97th year in New York City. The event takes place on Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston streets in Lower Manhattan. It kicks off Thursday and runs through Sept. 24, organizers said.

It’s the place to dine in fine Italian restaurants and watch contestants in the cannoli-eating contests. The treats are provided by Ferrara Bakery.

This year’s grand marshal is Italian-American actress Kathrine Narducci, a Naples native who has been on “The Sopranos” and “A Bronx Tale.” The grand parade will honor Italian baseball players.

The first day of the festival features musical guests Johnny Mandolin & Friends and JC and the Fun Time Band. The Blessing of the Stands will also be on Thursday. The Solemn High Mass celebrates the patron Saint of Naples and will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 19.

The body of Saint Gennaro is in Naples and the locals pray to him to keep them safe from natural disasters, including fires, earthquakes, plagues, droughts, and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, organizers said.

For a full list of events, visit the San Gennaro website.

Mira Wassef is a digital reporter who has covered news and sports in the New York City area for more than a decade. She joined PIX11 News in 2022. See more of her work here.