Fate of Festa di Santa Rosalia hangs on city paper pushers

Feast fear! 18th Avenue fair faces second cancellation

The Brooklyn Paper
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The 18th Avenue Feast could be on the verge of becoming a famine!

Organizers of Bensonhurst’s annual Festa di Santa Rosalia say that paperwork problems might cause the last-minute cancellation of the summer-capping street fair this year — and the end of the festival as we know it!

The city rejected requests for street closure permits from the Santa Rosalia Society, the Italian-American social club which started the celebration some seven decades ago, saying the group left out vital tax documents. The society claims that a city clerk’s butterfingers are to blame for the lost documents and has resubmitted the application, but it is unclear whether the city will grant the license by the the last week of August, when the feast traditionally kicks off.

“We’re trying to get it up and running for this year, but we’re not sure if the city is going to make up its mind in time,” said Angelo Timeroni, the society’s accountant.

A similar permit dispute led to the festival being canceled in 2011. The event resumed in 2012 with a full spread of cannolis, sausages, and peppers. But one club member said that, between the neighborhood’s shrinking Italian population and the yearly papework headaches, many in the group are all but fed up with putting on the feast.

The member, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the group is weighing whether to have a private event company run the feast in the future, pointing out that Little Italy’s annual Feast of San Gennaro has survived for the past 16 years despite the near-total exodus of Italian-Americans from the neighborhood, thanks to the help of an outside contractor.

But Timoneri insists that Bensonhurst’s remaining Italian-American youth should carry on the tradition started by their fathers and grandfathers.

“We’re going to try to keep it status quo,” Timoneri said. “We need the support of the community.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

diehipster from Fracturing Flannerys says:
They almost canceled this last year but it still went on. Hope it still goes this year. We need something in normal Brookyn to make us forget how pathetic other parts have become.

You won't see one costume wearing, attention-starved, bearded, doll sewing fauxhemian at this event.
Aug. 13, 2013, 3:05 pm
Hipster Transplant from Bensonhurst says:
Unless you count all the boys and girls dressed in their "Jersey Shore reject" costumes - that's practically a prerequisite.
Aug. 13, 2013, 4:12 pm
ty from pps says:
Nothing screams "authentic Brooklyn" like tube sock, italian sausage and $5 pashmina vendors from NJ and PA!
Aug. 13, 2013, 7:37 pm
Eddie Mazz from Bensonhurst says:
"The Great Zeppole Famine of 2013"
Aug. 13, 2013, 11:54 pm
manhatposuer from brokeland says:
GTL Baby! Snooki & Jwow should be co-Marshall's of this event.
Aug. 14, 2013, 6:50 am
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
Yes you are right ty; there is absolutely nothing for you or your friends to see down on 18th Ave.

But if you do make it, be sure to go into J&V and demand a slice with cruelty free breastmilk cheese and rooftop kale topping. Make sure you are persistent and loud about it. Doubt a pie that costs less than $20 would suit your standards though.
Aug. 14, 2013, 10:02 am
Pat I. from Brooklyn says:
...and go into the Foccaciaria on 18th and 70th(?). make Sure to ask the guy behind the counter
if the fried bacala was line caught.
Aug. 14, 2013, 11:48 am
Richard Grayson from Williamsburg says:
The last time I went to the fair, I saw some hipsters there. They are regular people and human beings like everyone else, and people who think they should all die are as bigoted as any Nazi or Ku Klux Klansman.
Aug. 14, 2013, 11:51 am
ty from pps says:
I know Pat... what a ridiculous thing to support, sustainable fishing? Oh man. What crazy people.

You do now that the North Atlantic cod population is close to non-existent, right? Many scientists believe that the collapse is actually beyond the point of recovery... i.e., no more bacala.

So, yeah. You can be a total ignorant tool if you want. That's your right. But many people actually give a crap about the world -- not just being nostalgic about more violent and ignorant days in Brooklyn.

And, Pat... Are you talking about Gino's? Yeah, it's closed last time I checked.

(And Jaz, why would I get a slice at J&V when there's an amazingly 'authentic' street fair going on? Can't I go to J&V any day? It's not every day you can buy tube socks, cheap jewlery and "MozzArepas" on the street!)
Aug. 14, 2013, 1:27 pm
Pat I. from Brooklyn says:
Ty - You're an ass. If you and your ilk really cared about the world you wouldn't leave a f**cking mess every place you went.

Ever check out NYC after Earth Day events?
Aug. 15, 2013, 5:37 am
ty from pps says:
Seriously, Pat? You're typed that with a straight face?
Aug. 15, 2013, 9:56 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
sustainable fishing?

lol ty - I think you're more into sustainable jerking off.
Aug. 15, 2013, 12:25 pm
Mike from Flatbush says:
These old time Brooklyn street fairs will be gone within 20 years. As the Italians in the neighborhood get older their kids move to Staten Island and NJ with the void filled by the new immigrants like Russians and Chinese and yes, hipsters.

I think Pat, Diehipster etc, are having a hard time dealing with that.
Aug. 16, 2013, 8:04 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
I agree mike - they have sucked for yers including that sacred cow known as 7th heaven.

these started during the Lindsey administration and took off after 1976. it is the same old same old - I love the backhanded racism though - re they will move to nj etc. so where are the hipsters et al going to send their kids - to high school - certainly not with tyrone and shaquinalla and a 30pct passing rate. the burbs will be their new home as the school taxes will be a bargain compared to tuition. newbutgh nad Middletown are marketing themselves as artist/pioneer blah blah blah
Aug. 16, 2013, 1:37 pm
Mike from Flatbush says:
old time brooklyn...

No racism. That's the typical migration. Brooklyn to the 'burbs. Sometimes with a stop over in S.I. for a few years.

My parents still live on Ocean Parkway. A house on the side streets costs about 1 mil these days. So most kids when they grow up move out of the city where they can buy a house for half that or less.

Which is why we're seeing a lot of these mom and pop shops that have been around forever closing up. The parents ran the business, then the kids, after college move away. So Dad has to sell when he wants to retire as opposed to 30 or 40 years ago when the kids would take over.
Aug. 16, 2013, 8:22 pm

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