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San Gennaro Feast in Island Park featured food and fun

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The smell of Italian food filled the air and sounds of children screaming with glee on rides echoed throughout Island Park as Sacred Heart Church hosted the 49th annual San Gennaro Feast from Sept. 5 through 9.

Bishop John O. Barres, from the Diocese of Rockville Centre, and Sacred Heart’s Monsignor John J. Tutone began the festivities by hosting Mass on Sept. 5. It was followed by a procession, where dozens gathered to walk along Long Beach Road with the St. Januarius statue, the festival’s namesake. The statue was placed on a sidewalk in front of the church throughout the festival, and parishioners had the opportunity to touch it and pray near it.

When the procession concluded, it ushered in four days of fun and feasting on Italian food and pastries that were cooked and served by volunteer parishioners. The event also included games, music, an elephant sale, casino games and rides such as a Ferris wheel, super slide and carousel, which gave attendees several options to have fun.