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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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The leadership that makes St. Anthony’s Feast possible

Elizabeth Scholl
The statue of St. Anthony is marched through the feast. On Sunday, Aug. 27, the statue was marched along the Endicott, Thacher and North Margin Streets for 10 hours.

In the heart of Boston’s North End, where the steady beat of cobblestone streets meets the powerful scent of Italian delicacies, an annual celebration like no other comes to life. Welcome to St. Anthony’s Feast, a vibrant Italian street festival that transforms the historic neighborhood into a carnival of culture, faith and flavor.

In 1919, Italian immigrants in Boston founded San Antonio Di Padova Da Montefalcione, Inc., a non-profit, religious and cultural organization. Since then, the organization’s annual festival has evolved into the largest religious festival in all of New England. 

From Aug. 24 to Aug. 27, the 104th St. Anthony’s Feast will once again turn the North End into a bustling hub, hosting nearly 100 vendors. The festival began at 5 p.m. Thursday with the opening ceremony and procession of the Feast of Santa Lucia. Then, at noon Friday, more celebrations continued until the anticipated first appearance of the St. Anthony statue at 7 p.m. 

“There’s food, lots of people, cooking demonstrations and music all weekend long — there’s really something for everybody,” said Michael Bosco, a member of the Feast Committee for the past 18 years. 

There are 130 members of the San Antonio Di Padova Da Montefalcione organization, and nine are selected to be members of the Feast Committee who work closely to plan and organize the St. Anthony’s Feast. These people play a pivotal role in curating a celebration that bridges generations and cultures.

The St. Anthony Society is supported by various organizations and charities within the community and Greater Boston that embody the spirit of St. Anthony. This year, there were sponsors, such as Regina Pizzeria, Filippo Ristorante, Polcari’s, Stella Artois, Massimino’s Cucina Italiana and Ducali Parziale’s Bakery. 

“I support the feast and what it stands for … the religious aspect, being a proud Italian — it truly brings a community together,” said Bobby Eustace, owner of Polcari’s and sponsor of St. Anthony feast for the past 38 years. “Lots of members of the [feast committee] comes to my coffee shop. … It’s nice, I develop a relationship with these life-long North Enders.” 

In 2013, the Boston A-List honored St. Anthony’s Feast with the distinction of “best festival.” This recognition was the result of over 81,000 votes, establishing St. Anthony’s Feast as the premier festival among the 28 hosted across Greater Boston. Throughout its history, St. Anthony’s Feast appeared in numerous publications; notably, the National Geographic bestowed upon it the title of the “Feast of all Feasts.”

This feast is unlike any other because of its continuous retention rate. The committee expects around 300,000 attendees over the course of the weekend. “A lot of folks that used to live on the North End come back specifically for the feast. It’s the tradition, it’s the culture. And for many folks, this is a family reunion in many ways,” Bosco said.

However, the main attraction of the weekend is the 10-hour procession of the St. Anthony statue at noon Sunday, which pays tribute to the patron saint.

“[The festival] has just been part of my life and my family’s life for as long as I can remember,” said Jason Aluia, a member of the feast committee for 30 years. “My windows where I grew up in the North End faced the feast, main stage and the bandstand, where we have our entertainment. And I remember from a little kid always making a donation, being lifted to the statue during the grand procession to give my family’s donation.”

For Aluia, the festival was a time to celebrate a beautiful summer weekend with family and friends. 

“There’s many festivals in the neighborhood, but St. Anthony’s Feast was always seen as the biggest and last feast,” Aluia said. “You anticipated it all summer long, especially in August when the festival lights went up. … When you saw the lights go up, you knew the feast was coming.” 

All entertainment is free and open to the public. So, whether you’re a passionate foodie, a history enthusiast or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the contagious joy of a centuries-old celebration, St. Anthony’s Feast promises an unforgettable experience of Italian culture. 

“You see people that you haven’t seen all year, and it’s a good time to get together and enjoy each other’s company and also pay respect to the traditions that our families brought with them from Italy to Boston,” Bosco said. 

About the Contributors
Rachel Umansky-Castro
Rachel Umansky-Castro, Opinion Editor
Rachel Umansky-Castro is a third-year criminal justice and journalism combined major with a minor in international affairs. She is the opinion editor of The News and previously served as the projects editor. Rachel is currently on co-op in New York as an investigator for Brooklyn Defender Services. She is excited to stay connected to campus by helping students write powerful arguments!
Elizabeth Scholl
Elizabeth Scholl, Deputy Photo Editor
Elizabeth Scholl is a second-year pharmaceutical sciences major with a minor in business administration. She currently serves as one of the deputy photo editors for The News. Her favorite events to photograph include sports, concerts and anything The News needs last minute.
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