The OLMC Feast is back again since it returned last year after being canceled in 2020, a year which marked the first cancellation of the annual event since World War II. Running from July 6 through July 17, 2022, the Feast is ready to be enjoyed by many once again.
The Italian tradition has been around since 1903 and central to Italian-Americans. Immigrants from Nola in Southern Italy brought this feast called Giglio Feast to Williamsburg. The feast is a celebration and homage to their patron saint San Paolino. In the fifties, The Shrine Church Of Our Lady of Mount Carmel took over the Giglio Feast. Then the Giglio Feast merged with the feast celebrating la Madonna Della Carmine (Our Lady of Mount Carmel), becoming a joint celebration of the two saints.
There are many wonderful things lined up on the schedule for people to enjoy for the 135th annual Feast. Some of the highlights for this year’s event are opening night on July 6 with a fireworks show at 9 p.m, the Children’s Giglio Family Night on July 7 and July 12 at 6:30 p.m, and the Giglio Sunday with a Parade at 9 a.m, Mass at 11:30 a.m. and Dancing of the Giglio & Boat at 1:30 pm on July 10th.
Another highlight is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16, as well as Giglio Night Lift which follows up Giglio Sunday. For both Giglio Sunday and the Night Lift, volunteers help lift the Giglio Tower (on Sunday, they carry a boat in remembrance of the return of Paolino to Nola). The Giglio Tower stands at 65 feet in height and weighs about four ton. The Giglio Song (O’ Giglio’e Paradiso, the most important and requested song) can be heard through these celebrations. So prepare your vocal cords and sharpen your Italian.
The feast is a fundraiser for the Shrine Church of Our Lady Mount Carmel and supports the needs of the church as well as its programming. If you want to support the church and the celebratory feast, you can donate here.
The twelve day festival event will be filled with games, music, rides and food. The feast hours are between Monday – Friday 6 p.m – 10 p.m, Saturdays 4 p.m – 11 p.m, and Sundays 12 p.m – 10 p.m. For the full schedule, look at the OLMC website or their Instagram, so stop by and get to experience an Italian American tradition like no other.