Celebrate the Hampton Bays community this weekend, as the hamlet taps into its amore of all things Italian to host the 3rd Annual San Gennaro Feast of the Hamptons. The two-day festival, held on Saturday and Sunday, October 5–6, will feature food and drink vendors, live music, a carnival, fireworks and a raffle for a Fiat.
“[The festival] originated by the Chamber to bring people into Hampton Bays during the fall,” San Gennaro Feast of the Hamptons president Rick Martel says. The annual event raises money and awareness for the Hampton Bays community and benefits local charities, including Maureen’s Haven, the Coalition for Women’s Cancers at Southampton Hospital and the San Gennaro Feast of the Hamptons Scholarship Fund.
“It’s really a tremendous event,” Martel says. “It brings more people into town than any other happening.” Martel is hoping that some 15,000 to 20,000 people will descend upon the hamlet this weekend, a number in line with the amount of past attendees.
The majority of the weekend’s festivities will take place on Good Ground Road, rocking the hamlet from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. on both days. Vendors will be sprinkled near the Hampton Bays train station, allowing visitors to sample Italian culinary delights and browse through artisan crafts. Meanwhile, kids of all ages can enjoy the ever-popular carnival area.
An Opening Ceremony parade will kick off the festival on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. This year’s Grand Marshal is Dominick Spoto, an active member of the Southampton town Kiwanis Club and a member of the San Gennaro Feast of the Hamptons Board of Directors. Spoto’s grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from Italy. He has resided in Hampton Bays since 1977 and has permanently lived in the hamlet for the past 10 years.
After the parade, Saturday’s entertainment schedule will feature music by Big Mike Lynche, an American Idol finalist; and Henry Haid, who starred on Broadway’s Movin’ Out, from 6:30–8 p.m. A dazzling show by Grucci, Long Island’s famed fireworks family, will follow at 9 p.m. Other musical talents to play throughout the weekend include Franco Corso, dubbed “The Voice of Romance;” the smooth voice of Johnny Avino; the Filthy Crickets, a Motown group; and Carmello the Singing Pizza Man, as well as a variety of DJs.
Capping off the festival in true Italian spirit, this year will feature a raffle drawing for a Fiat—una piccolo auto. Only 250 tickets will be sold for $100 each, and the winner will be announced on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.
San Gennaro festivals are celebrated across the country—most notably in downtown New York City—in honor of the patron saint of Naples, Italy. A martyr for his Christian faith, San Gennaro was beheaded at the order of a pagan official. The blood of San Gennaro is still encased in two vials, preserved in Naples. Though the blood remains dry for most of the year, it occasionally takes on more lifelike qualities, turning to liquid and bubbling up. This typically happens on the first Sunday in May, the feast of the transfer of the saint’s relics and on September 19, the anniversary of San Gennaro’s martyrdom.
San Gennaro Feast of the Hamptons is a 501c(3) organization sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Visit sangennarofeastofthehamptons.com for more details.