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Press Room » The Feast of San Gennaro at the Jersey Shore comes to Belmar

09/08/2012 at 11:00 AM

Contact:  Patti DeCesare Baxter   patti@sparkmybiz.com 732.747.4449

     Belmar, NJ – August 7, 2012:  The Borough of Belmar, home to seafood festivals, sandcastle switz-watch.com contests, Monmouth County’s best beach and the state’s biggest St. Patrick’s Parade, is welcoming another cultural celebration.  The Feast of San Gennaro at the Jersey Shore, presented by Nicchio Ristorante, will fill the streets of downtown Belmar on Saturday and Sunday, September 8th and 9th.  

     The festival is an occasion to honor local officials of Italian-American descent who have made a positive impact on the quality of life in our area.  Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders will be recognized as the first Son of San Gennaro of the Jersey Shore.  Mrs. Maria Boccia, long-time Belmar resident and a past president of the Belmar Woman’s Club, will be honored as the Daughter of San Gennaro of the Jersey Shore, and Joe Leone, one of Monmouth County’s leading caterers and purveyors of Italian foods and culture, is being recognized as the San Gennaro at the Jersey Shore Italian-American Businessperson of the Year.

     “The original San Gennaro Festival started in Little Italy in 1926 by newly arrived immigrants from Naples to honor St. Gennaro, the patron saint of their home town,” stated Dr. Dan DiCesare, owner of Nicchio Ristorante and the organizer the event. “They celebrated Italian food, wine and culture as a way of giving back to the community. We’re planning to do the same thing here in Belmar.”

     The festival will feature plenty of Italian foods, wines, games and activities, starting with the traditional procession of the statue of San Gennaro, benefiting the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  Look for dancing, games for young and old, live entertainment and exciting special guests, including special performances by Louis Prima Jr and the Witnesses on Saturday evening and Jimmy Barone, New Jersey’s #1 Elvis Impersonator, and the Jazz Lobsters Big Band on Sunday.   Many of Belmar’s popular dining spots will take advantage of the festival to extend their seating outdoors.  “We’re excited to have outdoor dining at Nicchio’s,” added Dr. DiCesare.   

     Redefining the public image of Italian Americans at the Jersey Shore was a big motivation in developing the event, according to Dr. DiCesare.  “A lot of attention has recently been brought to the Jersey Shore and not all of it positive. Italian Americans have been responsible important contributors to our society and culture, in medicine, arts and entertainment, sports, scientific advances and so much more.  These two days are a way to remember the sacrifices our parents and grandparents made in helping to build this truly amazing country,” he said.  

     “It’s an honor for Belmar to host the first San Gennaro Festival at the Jersey Shore,” said Mayor Matt Doherty.  “It’s a great opportunity for us to show off our fantastic restaurants, welcoming small town family atmosphere and all that’s great about the Jersey Shore.”

The festival will take place between 10th and 12th Avenues on Belmar’s Main Street from 11 am until 10 pm on Saturday, September 8th and from noon until 6 pm on Sunday, September 9th.   

More information is available on www.feastofnj.com.   Interested vendors and sponsors should contact Patti Baxter at 732.747.4449 or patti@sparkmybiz.com.

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