The hugely popular Saint Ann Italian Festival is almost upon us. This year marks the 108th time that the feast has graced the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey, bringing together the faithful with family and friends. To say that the festival is historic is an understatement. Generations of families will be there and if you listen closely, there are bound to be grandparents and great-grandparents pointing out the exact spot where they had their first St. Ann zeppole so many years ago.
The festival culminates with a procession, where the 600 pound statue is carried through the streets solely by female devotees. The first St. Ann’s Feast, along with the Feast of San Giacomo, was held in 1910. A two day festival was held on July 25th in honor of San Giacomo and July 26th in honor of St. Ann. Various Italian foods were featured as well as operatic music and singers for the public’s enjoyment. However, the culmination of these festivities was the procession of the statue of St. Ann and a large framed picture of San Giacomo through the streets of Hoboken.
108 years later, the tradition continues! From Saturday, July 21 through Wednesday, July 25, the St. Ann’s Festival offers visitors six days of festival fun, nightly music beginning at 8:30 pm and the international flavor that put Hoboken on the map. Vendors line the streets featuring St. Ann’s famous zeppole and a beer garden adds to the event.
The week preceding Saint Ann’s July 26th Feast Day will have Solemn Novenas offered to the grandmother of Christ. The feast itself begins on Saturday, July 21st at 1:00pm and continues on into the night until 11:00 pm. Saturday also is Italian Night and will feature entertainment on the main stage across from the Church by Elio Scaccio and his six piece band. On Sunday, July 22, the hours of the festival are from 1:00 pm until 11:00 pm. That night’s entertainment will be by Beginnings: A Tribute to the Music of Chicago. Monday through Wednesday, festival hours are from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Monday features Orquestra La Caribeña; Tuesday, Lights Out will present their tribute to Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons; Jakes’s Rockin’ Country Band takes the stage on Wednesday and on Thursday, the festival begins at 1:00 pm and will feature Disco 54, The Ultimate Disco Experience on the main stage. The festival concludes at 11:00 pm.
Come and enjoy a wonderful time with carnival rides, crafts, games and traditional Italian food. Each night of the festival will also feature a 50/50 raffle hosted by the Church. St. Ann’s is located at 704 Jefferson Street. For more information visit the Church’s website at StAnnHoboken.com.