Danbury’s San Gennaro Festival Begins Today, 8 Things You Need to Know
Danbury's 2nd annual San Gennaro Festival begins today!
All of the anticipation is over and now it's time for the Italian-American community to gather and celebrate with food and music in the Hat City.
What is the San Gennaro Festival?
The feast of San Gennaro is named for the Patron Saint of Naples & Little Italy, San Januarius. The Catholic Calendar date for the feast is September 19, but the cultural festival will be celebrated in Danbury this year between Wednesday, August 23 and Sunday August 27th.
When and Where?
Wednesday, August 23 and Sunday August 27th on the Danbury Green.
DATES: Wednesday, August 23rd thru Sunday, August 27th
Wed – Friday: 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Saturday: 1:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm
WHERE: City Center Ives Street , Danbury
Organizers have structured this as a non-profit event It's free to enter the event and enjoy the live entertainment. There will be special tents/stations designed to raise money for local charities like the dunk tank.
Who is the Grand Marshall?
In early June we broke some big news about the 2023 San Gennaro Festival in Danbury. We spoke with Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito who told us Catholic Bishop Frank Caggiano would be the Grand Marshall of the Festivities. Esposito said:
"The big news of the day, I'm very excited about this for the San Gennaro Festival that you know is coming in August, August 23rd - 27th I was given the honor of announcing that our Grand Marshall this year is going to be the Bishop from the Archdiocese of Bridgeport, Caggiano. Bishop Caggiano is going to be our Grand Marshall so it's a very very special day for the City of Danbury and the Italian community in Danbury."
More on Bishop Frank Caggiano according to Bridgeport Diocese
"The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano was installed as Fifth Bishop of Bridgeport on September 19, 2013 at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull. In his installation homily, He spoke of the needs to build bridges to youth, those who are troubled, those who are neglected and to Catholics who no longer participate in the life of the Church."
Bishop Caggiano's parents were Italian immigrants who came to the United States from the town of Caggiano, in the province of Salerno Italy in 1958. The Bishop was raised in Brooklyn, New York and attended Yale University before leaving for the priesthood.
What Live Acts Will Be Performing?
Wednesday the 23rd
4:00 - Bishop Frank Caggiano to hold Mass and bless the statue
5:00 - Procession down Main Street
5:30 Awards Ceremony
Italian Singer – Vito Lombardo will be there Wed – Friday
Crossfire Hurricane ( Rock band )will perform Wednesday night
Thursday the 24th
Italian Singer – Vito Lombardo
Friday the 25th
Italian Singer Vito Lombardo
Phil Engel Band
Saturday the 26th
Vittorio DiCarlo The Graceful Tenor
Sunday the 27th
Vittorio DiCarlo The Graceful Tenor
Zac N’ Fried
The I-95 Morning Show will be broadcasting live Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Our big broadcast with Ethan, Lou & Large Dave will be on Saturday from 1-3pm.
Where Do I Park?
There is parking in the Patriot Garage directly across the street from the Danbury green where the event takes place but event organizers secured more, in anticipation of an even bigger crowd this year. We spoke to AJ Galante about the additional parking, this is what he told us:
"Lucky Enough we actually have the Patriot Garage right across the street but that gets packed. So, you have the Metro-North station that is not that far from there and then we were lucky enough to make a deal with West Conn (WCSU) with their garage on 5th avenue there. And, we're offering, like we did last year a free shuttle, I believe it's going to go to-and-from Ives Street every 15-20 minutes something like that."
Places You Can Park Full List:
Patriot Garage - 1 Patriot Drive, Danbury, CT
West Conn 5th Avenue Garage - 1-35, 5th Avenue Danbury, CT (Shuttle Service Available)
Danbury's Metro-North lot - 1 Patriot Drive, Danbury, CT: Across the street from the Patriot Garage
Charles A. Bardo Parking Garage - 10 Library Place, Danbury CT
Street Parking - You can grab street parking wherever you can find it.
I'll see you at the Festival! I'm walking because I live Downtown.
Who is Behind This Event?
The event was the brainchild of the Galante family; Jimmy, Tina and AJ. They are working closely with the City of Danbury and many local companies to make the 2nd annual a reality.
Last year was the 1st annual event and we got a rare opportunity to ask Jimmy Galante why he wanted to do this, this is what he had to say:
"We're looking forward to bringing something exciting to Downtown Danbury. As you know, my family and I have been part of this community for years and the people of this city welcomed us with open arms when we brought the Trashers downtown and we thought this was a great opportunity to bring something for the entire community to enjoy. The Feast of San Gennaro means a lot to us and we hope the community gets excited, and out of their homes after this pandemic, to enjoy some fun times, good food, and entertainment together."
We also asked Galante what it means to him to be an Italian, this was his reply:
"Being Italian-American is important to my family. You know Italians have a long history in this country and even more so in Connecticut. But at this event, everyone is Italian. We're celebrating a culture, but also food and music that can be appreciated by the entire community."
There will be be amusement rides, laser light show, face painting, glitter tattoos, hair braids, more food vendors than last year and boutique vendors, meatball eating contest and a cannoli eating contest.
I am fired up for this weekend, I'm a proud Italian-American and I'm particularly excited to take the I-95 Morning Show to a live venue.
For San Gennaro 2023, Ethan, Dave and I will be interviewing Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito, AJ Galante and a few more surprise guests.