The Festa di Santa Rosalia, also known as the 18th Avenue Feast, is going ahead with its full 11-day schedule as planned, Bensonhurst Bean confirmed today.
The festival’s fate came into question yet again after reports surfaced saying that the event “faces second cancellation,” following the 2011 cancellation of the event caused by permit problems. According to the report, the city again rejected requests for street closure permits from the Santa Rosalia Society, which organizes the event.
However, the head of the society dismissed claims that there were any problems with this year’s event.
“No risk. No cancels. We start Thursday,” said Damiano Carcione, president of the Santa Rosalia Society.
Carcione confirmed to Bensonhurst Bean today that the event will go forward as expected, and feature the same 11-day lineup of excitement, food and community as they’ve had for decades. He said they’re jam-packed with vendors, and only have a few available spots remaining.
Asked if there was any truth that the organization sought to offload the event to a private company as was alleged by the same paper who reported the possible cancellation, Carcione grumbled a sharp “No,” but did not elaborate.
Councilman Vincent Gentile was the first to question the veracity of the report, posting on his Facebook page almost immediately after the report was published that the event was full steam ahead.
“Don’t believe the hype! Bensonhurst’s annual Festa di Santa Rosalia a.k.a. the ’18th Avenue Festival’ has NOT been canceled,” he wrote.
The Feast kicks off August 22 and lasts until September 1. It takes place on 18th Avenue, from 67th Street to 75th Street, and flags promoting the event unfurled along the route last week.