Southern Brooklyn

Bensonhurst's 18th Ave Feast Gets Slashed To One Day

A booth at the 18th Avenue Feast in 2009 (Source:Whiskeygonebad/Flickr)

(UPDATE [8/17/11]: Turns out the feast will be a full 10-day event. The original confusion was due to a typo on an event calendar that had us – and some city officials – confused. Check out this update for more information.)

Original post:

Our sister site Bensonhurst Bean has scooped the mainstream media again, discovering that the annual week-long tradition of the 18th Avenue Feast – aka Festa di Santa Rosalia – has been cut down to a one day event.

The Bensonhurst news blog reports the feast organizers have only requested permits for one day: Thursday, August 25, from 5 p.m. to 10 pm. It will be held on 18th Avenue between 67th Street and 75th Street.

Amidst swirling rumors, the district manager of Community Board 11 sought to clear things up for Bean readers:

“It is my understanding that the city is awaiting additional paperwork from the organizer, which I believe they are addressing,” District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia told the Bean. “Regarding the shortening of the feast, the (city’s) website shows it as one day. Community Board 11 has not received any notification that there have been any changes to the permit.”

That’s being greeted as good news by at least one 18th Avenue business owner, who said a “cancellation would be excellent news, because the Feast takes a lot of business away from 18th Avenue merchants, who pay rent to have stores on the Avenue.”

It appears Brooklyn has been home to a number of festival reductions or outright cancellations this year, including four in Flatbush alone, when the city said financial restraints are too much to justify street closures.

However, Bensonhurst Bean points out that a number of new festivals have popped up in Manhattan and Northern Brooklyn, raising the question – yet again – is Southern and Central Brooklyn getting the short end of the stick?

Read Bensonhurst Bean’s full report.

Comment policy


  1. In response to the thought that the increasing paucity of festivals in southern Brooklyn is a result of getting the short end of the stick, I would have to disagree. I believe that this is more of a function of the changing demographics. Specfically and historically, as a former Bensonhurst resident and it being my birthplace, the feast of Santa Rosalia was always attended by the many Italian Americans and numerous American Jews that resided there, and in neighboring Borough Park, over the years. Many have been replaced by the Chinese, Slavs, and Hasids who are just not into such celabratory festivals. It is in some ways analogous to what has been happening to our Day Fishing Fleet on Sheepshead Bay, where once the boats were filled with guys of Irish background, Italian Americans, and a number of American Jews. The new demographic are just not into going Deep Sea or angling on the Bay. Their interests are elsewhere, nor am I discounting the current economics, either.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here