The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast which takes over No. 8th near Havemeyer in Williamsburg for more than a week with sausage and zeppole vendors, dunk tanks and water balloon games and dangerous looking children’s rides – all under the watchful eye of the gigantic Giglio structure – is over before you know it.
While new constructions are rising around the feast in every direction, it’s great to see an over 100 year cultural tradition going strong in Brooklyn.
Taking some time inside the cool Our Lady Of Mount Carmel gymnasium (for the Brooklyn’s Best Meatball Competition – God, I should have entered!) was like a visit to every summer in Williamsburg since 1903. Old newspaper clippings, brochures and photographs offered an amazing visual account of the the festival as well as a vintage designers’ dream.
The illustrations on the “terms you should know” brochure from the 60s features 5 o’clock shadow lifters and teach you what words like Giglio and calzone mean. Giglio stands for Lily and adorns the structure and all the street poles around town.
There was a copy of one of the applications for the lifters  – an honored position, that quizzes potential young men on things like “Why is the carrying of the boat symbolic to the feast?”
For a more in depth history of the feast, read All About The Giglio.
Isn’t this striped aqua t-shirt from the the ’56 to die for?!
Whether you’re Eye-talian or not or from NYC or wherever, the feast is for everyone! I hope you enjoy this photo series. At the end there are two videos, one of the Giglio band my brother serendipitously captured while leaning up against a dumpster (don’t ask.) The other is a video by V Rizzo of one of the lifts shot with a go-pro!

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  1. Hi Jen I’m a long time resident of Williamsburg. I’m looking to purchase a print or enlarged photo of Giglio Sunday the carrying of the statue. Please let me if you can help me with that, Maybe a local artist thank you Diane

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