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103rd Fisherman’s Feast Opening Night & Blessing of the Fishing Waters [Photos]

The 103rd Fisherman’s Feast opened on Thursday night, August 15, 2013 in Boston’s North End on North, Fleet and Lewis Streets. The statue of La Madonna Del Soccorso di Sciacca left her permanent chapel for a solemn procession to Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park for the Annual Blessing of the Fishing Waters. This year’s procession was dedicated to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Adding to the opening night, the Annual Italian American of the Year Award was presented to Mayor Thomas M. Menino. See the full schedule of events at

Photos by Matt Conti. High resolution gallery and prints.

Photos by Matt Conti. High resolution gallery and prints.

30 Replies to “103rd Fisherman’s Feast Opening Night & Blessing of the Fishing Waters [Photos]

  1. It’s a beautiful feast and the pictures are beautiful, Matt, thank you.

    I would like to acknowlege though that Fulton Street has been closed so that feast organizers have space to make such a wonderful feast. As we know, most of those who organize the feasts don’t live in the North End anymore but the city is kind enough to not force them to pay high prices to park their cars. Residents of Fulton Street have long taken the opportunity of the closed street to have a block party. Last night, that tradition ended when a city official came to the party with police and told residents to shut it down. It was another example of the tension between the people who actually live in the neighborhood & chose to raise their children here, and the people who feel they belong “more” because their grandparents were born in the neighborhood, even if they themselves have lived in the suburbs for decades.It is hard to imagine that the police had nothing more important to attend to than reprimanding some yuppies for having wine outside.

    1. I live in the North End and am one of the very many that belong that live here and belong to a feast society. Your accusation appears misplaced with the feast societies instead of the city. I can tell you first hand the city has cracked down on non-essential feast vehicles parking on the streets and public drinking outside.

      I hear the Fisherman’s feast came under the same city-driven raid and sweep that impacted your street.

      If you want to throw a block party under the cover of the feast, maybe you should talk to the city and reach out to your neighbors at the society instead of whining on a blog.

      1. It didn’t seem as much whining about the feast society as complaining about heavy-handed actions by the city. What’s the harm in allowing residents to hang out on their closed street drinking peacefully? But then again, this is Boston, so if the city’s not getting their cut you will get shut down.

  2. To Everyone involved~~~Great First Night of the Fisherman’s Feast~~You Guys and Gals outdid yourselves !!
    Beautiful Job !!!

  3. I love the tradition of the blessings for the fisherman’s fleet. I can only imagine what the park looked like back then. Congrats to everyone who took part and great photos!

  4. From first hand observation, Fulton Street was not closed to ensure that service deliver vehicles have parking. Nearly every car on Fulton Street last night had a placard indicating the driver was a member of the Fishermans Club. All lots on Commercial Street were full. So residents had to pay to park outside of the North End so that Fishermans Club members from out of the neighborhood had private, free parking while residents were severely incovenienced. Streest were closed from Richmond to Clark. That is too much.

    1. Sounds like yuppie whining. It’s a special event, so there is special event parking given out to organizers as in lots of city events. It’s a once a year event that has been going on for over 100 years. Get over it.

      1. I don’t think anyone was complaining about the Feast in the original comment. Actually, it seems like they were trying to join in the festivities and having. As neighbors, we all have to work together to make the Feasts and all our community events and traditions enjoyable for everyone who lives in the neighborhood and those visit. Only then will we be successful.

        1. The Fulton St. residents were trying to join in on the fun – exactly, Jason. One city employee went completely mad and was very inappropriate when dealing with this group. It is unfair that residents of Fulton St. have their street shut down so that friends of the feast can park there for the entire weekend. To make it a good situation, for years, these same residents have allowed their kids to ride bikes in the shut down street and have turned it into a neighborhood gathering. This is a good thing. The city employee called the group “yuppies” and outsiders from the beginning of her tirade. “These people” this, “these people” that. This whole “yuppie” versus “I have lived here for 50 years” thing is group-ism – the North End’s most recent manifestation of some form of class or racism – pure and simple.

      2. Hi Misplaced,

        If you are such a proud NE resident member of the Feast Society and organizer of the events, why do you so carelessly denounce other fellow residents’ concerns and call them names under an anonymous blog handle?


  5. hahaha “yuppy whining” please…the Feasts take place several times throughout the summer, not once a year. Jason is 100% correct as residents, yuppy or not, we do try and enjoy the festivities. However, when garbage is left in our ally ways, we have to pay $25 to park (every weekend) and to top it off the St. Joseph society is blocking off parking spots with cones for their friends, it is completely disrespectful to the residents who do want to enjoy the activities.

    1. I was referring to the Fulton street complaint about special event parking … which is once a year. Sounds like you have a personal gripe. I hope you have reported it to the city because they are the ones that regulate and enforce parking rules.

    2. no one is talking about St. Joseph Society, those are completely different guys then the ones who are at the Fishermans, and you can’t complain that there are feasts multiple times in the summer, its the north end!! you knew what you were moving into, if it was going to be an issue for you, probably should have moved else where. Many of these feasts have been around and doing what they do for over 100 years, its not like they came out of nowhere and surprised you.

  6. This is my third year living on North Street and just want to say that I think the fisherman’s feast went pretty well this year.

  7. I completely understand people who live around the feast area being upset when it comes to parking and trash issues…. instead of talking about it on the northend water front website why not talk to the city about it???? I mean really, complaining online is not going to get anything done, if you really want to see a change, talk to the city they are the ones giving out the parking passes and closing the streets. In regards to Fulton Street, I parked there two nights for the feast and the families had their kids outside and it was like a cookout in their backyard. It was very cute and seemed to be very family oriented, Boston city officials are just not the greatest, they’ll shut down anything they can’t make a few bucks off of.

  8. You make the assumption we are not speaking with the city…we are. This blog is an open forum for discussion, and hopefully an avenue to discuss ways to make the North End better. And as I said in my post I enjoy the feasts, it is simply too bad that the disrespectful actions of a few take away from the enjoyment for residents who do want to partake in the festivities

  9. I heard this same ‘yuppie’ sentiment when I lived in South Boston. Beat up, old, tired gripe from people that have nothing better to do with themselves. I have news for you, this is the city. People move in and neighborhoods evolve. These yuppies you bit@h about are no different than your parents or grandparents from years ago who moved here. You don’t ‘own’ a neighborhood. You never did. Get over yourselves.

    1. JC,
      The reason you and so many others chose to move to the North End is because of what our Parents and Grandparents made this Neighborhood. A great place to raise a family, the culture and convenience and charm as well as the safety this neighborhood offers.

      When you moved here you knew or should have inquired about the inconvenience on Fulton, North and Fleet streets that takes place the 3rd weekend of August Every Year for the past 103 Years. As a lifetime North Ender I rent 2 Parking Spaces Year round. Welcome to the neighborhood. Ralph

        1. …and because it was a nice place to live which had its foundation built over the last 100 years…most recently by Italian immigrants.

          You would not have lived here if it weren’t a decent place to live just because it was near your place of employment.

          1. No, really. I moved here because it was closer to work. I stayed because I like it here. I like it here because of everyone who lives here, especially the ‘yuppie’ families who have kids similar in age to my own, not just the people who carry the Madonna a couple times a year.

          2. Location Location Location……not how the Italian immigrants formed a “foundation” over the last 100 years

  10. The number of “north enders” will quickly approach zero within 10 years at the rate they are selling their real estate for a quick buck. I am one of the few who will not miss them.

  11. As far as I know. No one was ever forced to move into the North End. Believe me, we all have list of people who should move out. But the NE is the NE, for all the GOOD and the bad. Many have complained before about the feast. But a lot of those folks are gone. The feast outlasted them. You don’t like the noise of the feast, the people, the bands, the music and yeah, we all contend with the idiots. But that’s the way it is. If someone really don’t like it, they could always moved to those other neighborhoods where the noise is gunshots, loud car radios. I doubt if you would complain to them. My cousin, who grew up in East Boston, but was always in the NE as a child and young man hates the city, but loves !!!!! the NE. Even though the parking is nill, he rather spend a morning or evening here, then anywhere else. He accepts it, you folks should too.

    1. I have not seen any one saying the feasts should go away. What I am reading on this blog is everyone is concerned with the garbage problem and the drinking issues. There is a lot a blame to go around, and this time of year the feasts contribute to this problem in a major way. Come September we can go back to blaming the students again…. what I find dis heartening is the attitude you have is “if you don’t like it leave” we all seem to want to same things…a nice neighborhood where people are respectful. Why should “yuppy” families who are hardworking, support the businesses in the area, pay taxes etc. be made to feel like we should leave for voicing and opinion which will hopefully inspire good changes?? I’m sorry but based on the “likes” and “dis likes” I have seen on these comments, the “yuppy” families will be here for a long time, it will be interesting to see in the next 10- 15 years who is outlasting whom.

  12. The feasts are a very important tradition for many Italians and provide an opportunity for people to see old friends and acquaintances. And if some people dislike them that is their choice and if some residents have some issues with the feasts or a particular feast meet with some of the feast organizers and try and work out the problems. Whining here isn’t going to solve anything.And these feasts are not going away and Im going to borrow a phrase I notice many posters use here”get over it”

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