The 97th Annual Italian Religious Street Festival in honor of Saint Anthony Di Padua Da Montefalcione, was observed recently in the vibrant neighborhood of Boston's North End.
The North End is the city's oldest residential community. People have lived here continuously since the 1630's. Today, it is known for its Italian American population, the many fine Italian restaurants, and the Old North Church from which the midnight ride of Paul Revere was triggered back in 1775 during the American Revolution.
Saint Anthony is the patron saint of the poor and finder of lost articles or people.
I wandered into the narrow back streets of the North End neighborhood on the opening evening to find the celebration. The festival takes place away from the main touristy Hanover Street.
Musical instruments ready for later entertainment on the stage.
Other bands waving both American and Italian flags march along the narrow streets, crowded with pedestrians and food booths.
Authentic homemade pasta anyone?
This pasta purveyor was encouraging buyers to stop by and have a bite using his powerful booming voice to shout at passersby.
The narrow streets only accommodate four band members abreast.
The statue of Saint Anthony makes its appearance to begin the parade.
Confetti cannons unleash a blizzard of green, red, and white confetti.
The statue is hoisted onto the shoulders of eight men who carry it through the streets to the pleasure of the adoring and happy crowd.
As daylight fades the visitors keep pouring in to the narrow streets.
Lights get brighter and the sky gets darker.
The blue hour. The size of the crowd made movement slow and difficult along the narrow streets.
The heat was too much for some - time for a nap.
And the band played on.......
After a lap through the neighborhood, the statue is carried to this outdoor chapel where it will stay over the festival weekend except when paraded through the streets.
After all that pasta it was time for dessert - CANNOLIS!!!!! Shells at the ready, the ricotta filling added to order, were flying off the vendor's racks. There were cannolis for sale at many of the booths along the crowded streets.
It was a great evening with happy and friendly people, food, music, and celebration!