Feast Poll: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

Boston’s North End Italian Feasts are entering their peak season during August, as they have been for roughly the past 100 years depending on the founding of the original religious society. Many residents take part in the festivities while others purposely schedule their vacations to be far away from the noise, traffic and occasional chaos.

Hanover Street during a 2016 North End Feast

Among the largest Italian festivals in the country, the North End feasts are regularly featured in National Geographic among other travel guides. Visitors travel from far and wide for a taste of the feasts and to take part in the traditions, food and music.

You’ve seen all the photos here on NorthEndWaterfront.com and we’ve recently posted about a Feast Community Chat at the Neighborhood Council as well as views from other Bostonians.

As with everything, there are big feast supporters and those … well, not so much. Once again, we turn to our readership to weigh in by voting in the above poll and leaving your comments below.

This poll was suggested by a reader. Do you have a burning question that would make a good poll on NorthEndWaterfront.com? Contact us.

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72 Replies to “Feast Poll: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

  1. The feasts are great but……I have witnessed fryolator fat being poured in storm drains at nightly or end of feast clean up. I don’t understand what cell phone sales booths, broken down carnival games, mayonaisse promotions or anything not related to Italy or the religious icon they are honoring is doing there except to raise money….it scratches the veneer off the allure of what was once a truly fun experience. It has devolved into an adjunct of the amusement park the North End has become. I am not a religious person but respect others rights to celebrate theirs and the spectacle of that I enjoyed. I loved when I went in the past and there was one booth for calamari and one booth with cannolis, etc. with people I recognized from the neighborhood. Now it seems to be vendors just there to make money which takes away from what these feasts were all about.( I get it that the individual societies make money for their groups by charging fees to the vendors ).. just my feelings I wish they were more like they used to be….

  2. Love them for the 30 minutes once a summer I actually attend to grab some food. Hate them for every other second I’m trying to drive, park, walk, or sleep in the north end ?

        1. I agree that no one should be told to go back to where they came from….but it is said out of frustration of new comers verbally stepping all over years of very special traditon to so many. It certainly has it’s inconvenient elements to some residents but most city living does and you take the good with the bad. Not to stereotype, but many of the complaining that I have encountered seem to come from some very entitled college students only residing there on Mommy and Daddy’s dime for a year or two while in school. Better they learn now that the real world doesn’t change for their desire to sleep until 2PM on a Sunday after being hungover from.bar hopping the night before, especially for a one one or two year stay while they get a degree to make the rents happy. How lucky they are to be able to live in such a great neighborhood so rich in history and tradition in spite of a few weekends of crowds and parking restrictions. These feasts are as special as they come and part of the neighborhood’s charm and culture. Many of the older residents not from there seem to get this and embrace it. Sorry, but the words “brats and spoiled rotten” come to mind.

          1. It’s always the college kids, eh? How do you know their parents are rich? You do not know a thing about these kids, and it is truly tiresome to listen to the elder generation in the NE to harp on them ad infinitum.

            1. hmmm maybe because they are living in apartments for 2500 a month heather pleather!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. Some people have chosen to raise their families here and have newborns or are elderly and don’t appreciate the noise.
            Not everyone who doesn’t like noise is a hungover college student.

            1. Rick, when you’re planning a move to a new area it’s your prerogative to do a bit of research of what the area is like, it may help you in deciding if it’s the right place for you. The feasts didn’t just pop up last week without warning.

  3. I begrudgingly voted #1 – Keep Them. However, the big problem is they are all the same. To the outsider, how do they know it’s St. Agrippina or Madonna della Cava or Fisherman’s? It used to be great Italian street food, occasionally stunning guests (St. Anthony’s had Giada De Laurentiis doing a cooking demo one year many moons ago) and almost a sense that the North End opened its doors for a big party. If I were involved in one of the feasts, I’d be asking myself how I could differentiate myself. But if they’re making money hand over fist, maybe they don’t care. Too bad.

    1. It’s 2016 and you can easily check out the history of each feast on their website or simply stop by their club loation and ask a member. Many of the feasts have unique events (aside from their regional and unique history) that differentiate them from eachother. It’s like anything else though…One needs to take time to actually show interest and ASK. Not a difficult concept. No one involved bytes and they will be happy to answer.

  4. David, I couldn’t agree more with you. Get rid of the carnival booths and bring back the traditional feasts. Also, do a better job of cleaning up afterwards. The Prado is a disaster area every Monday morning after the feasts, and it’s not from the Freedom Trail tourists!

    1. Get rid of the vendors David M ? what do you mean ? I was born in 1998 so I wasn’t around in the old days.

    2. The mess is from the people who don’t live here that’s why I agree go to your home town and trash it ..we take alot of pride in our Italian heritage .I say keep our feasts if you don’t like it you leave..

      1. dr:: Most of the mess is from the stream of tourists, so don’t blame them. They bring in alot of money. We need street sweepers in the summer.

  5. If you don’t like them, YUPPIES, then leave. Believe me, you’ll be doing us a huge favor. We’re not changing tradition to accommodate you who’ve already ruined the neighborhood enough.

    1. Oh but you and your families aren’t complaining that your property values have went through the roof because of us “YUPPIES.”

      Typical ignorant nonsense. Not grateful for anything except your own selfish interests.

  6. I voted #1 these feasts aren’t going anywhere plain and simple,even the smaller ones. These feasts have been around for a long long time.

    All of these votes should be 100 % for #1.

  7. Keep them. If they go away it’s more step in the direction on no longer being the neighborhood we all love and brag about.

  8. I’ll never forget. My first guests upon moving into my place in the North End–College friends celebrating their anniversary & whom I hadn’t seen since the wedding. Just as the cork popped on the celebratory champagne, the Roma Band rounded the corner. My first feast. We had no idea what was going on we just grabbed the glasses & bottle & toasted sitting on the stoop serenaded by a band we hadn’t ordered.

    Magical.

    Folks, you moved into a neighborhood that celebrates in the streets all summer long. Join the celebration or move on.

    I have the same message for the Charlestown Navy Yard complainers. People. It’s a free morning alarm. It’s a sundown all-call bringing the kids home at night, OR signaling cocktail hour. These are traditions that long predate your moving into the neighborhood. Put up, shut up, or go somewhere else.

  9. One gripe I have with some of these millennial population is their sense of entitlement & selfishness.Because of their being “inconvenienced” 4 weekends a year they want to abolish a neighborhood tradition that has been going on for over a century & means a great deal to many people.There is no doubt that there is an anti Italian sentiment involved.I spent several hours at this past weekends Feast, I observed families,tourists’ a diverse group of people all enjoying themselves eating & drinking in the Beer Garden & watching the concert.so what is the big deal?

    1. Michael: Where do you hear young people talking ? How do you know these college kids complain? I don’t hear it. I think the Italians complain among themselves. There is a thread of blaming the younger generation for the malaise in the neighborhood
      and you all seem to have the same conversation with each blog. You believe it’s anti-Italian sentiment??? I don’t think so.

  10. I am reading these comments about the feasts.
    These yuppies move in the neighborhood and they expect the religious societies to change what we do to make it more convenient for them.
    Well you know what go back to where you all came from.

  11. I grew up with the feasts, it’s only a few weekends in the summer. As for the vendors, the societies need to make money to pay for the feasts as well as the scholarships and what ever benevolent services they offer. What I hate about the North End now is that the “Yuppies” have taken over or tried to. If you don’t like the feasts go live in West Cambridge, Cambridgeport, Somerville, or anywhere else or “Go back to La fessa di tua sorella.”

    1. Greg: Yuppies, as you call them, are not trying to take over the North End. Paranoia? You should all get together in a room and go at it. I am in disbelief that the younger generation is taking the blame for everything. They are busy working and studying and are oblivious to your attitudes, I’m sure of that. Also, remember…..older generations sold out, made big money, renovated, and working people are the ones who can afford these new apts. Can’t blame the ‘yuppies’ for wanting to live in a nice neighborhood on the water.

      1. Heather, I beg to differ with you on the Trash Situation in the No. End. The Tourist might be a Very Small Part of the
        Problem. The Major Problem are the Residents who put their Trash out whenever, wherever & whatever time they want. I am not
        blaming students, or young professionals. I am blaming Absentee Landlords, who regard their properties as CASH COWS,
        & The City for not enforcing & addressing this On-Going Problem. The Residents put their Trash out early Sunday
        Morning or Afternoons before 5 P.M. The other morning I saw a Dead Fish a few doors down from the Regina. These
        people whoever & whatever their age, have no respect for the neighborhood because they feel this is not going to be their
        permanent home, it is just a Pit Stop for them. The North End is not the City Dump, it is Home for a lot of us who intend to
        live here for the rest of our lives. The Tourists are only a very small portion of the problem. This problem has been going
        on long before we got barraged with Tourists, it just escalated. If the City gave out $500-$1,000 Fines & imposed them
        on their Tenants, you could bet your life we would have much Cleaner Streets.

  12. Boston is a city of neighborhoods and the feasts are a major part of the North End’s identity. If you don’t like the feasts don’t go. I would be willing to wager the feasts were there before the people who want to get rid were.

  13. These feasts differ in many ways from the traditional Italian feasts (from the small towns in Italy). In recent years it seems that many participants tend to focus on emulating characters from the Sopranos, constantly carrying a cigar. This takes the focus off the religious aspect and I think is offensive to the Saint that is being honored, and is also a bad example for young children. It would be nice if these clubs would bring real Italian acts (from Italy) rather than remnants from years past, or acts that perpetuate the negative stereotypes of Italians (I recall one year Carlo from the Godfather was the main attraction – why?).

    I’m all for a religious feast that truly focuses on the Saint being honored. Such feasts are typically sponsored by the church which bears the name of the Saint or “houses” the Saint (as is the case in my home town in Sicily). These feasts take place on or around the saint’s actual feast day. I’m not too comfortable that part of me feels these feasts are somewhat of a Trojan horse for the associated private clubs to generate income. Maybe 100 years ago things were more traditional in the neighborhood, but what I see each year resembles less and less of what I knew as a child in Sicily and what I truly feel a religious feast should be.

  14. The feasts have been around for over one hundred years. If you don’t like the traditions of a neighborhood then you simply should not move there. The feast and their “sopranos emulating” members pay annual dues to the societies, take time off from work, and don’t make a cent off of the feast. The “loads of money” that they make don’t don’t go their pockets but instead go towards sponsoring countless community programs tha range from the church, to the schools, to youth sports, and to charities. The feast brings a lot of people to the north end and every business in the area makes more money when they are going on as well. If you really think the feast should be done away with you are not only misinformed, but you are also a complete moron. Yeah let’s get rid of people who have supported the neighborhood for over a hundred years so that we can cater to people who sign a 2 year lease to live here and do absolutely nothing to benefit anyone besides themselves. Idiots. And one last thing… You people who move to the north end need to stop complaining about noise. Do you realize you moved to the city? Do you realize that this is the most densely populated area in New England? Everyone always needs something to complaint about this. week it’s the feast, next week it will be noise, the week after it will be what time liquor licenses go till.. You live in the city GET OVER IT

    1. VIVA: The younger people don’t complain about the noise. The Italians do. You say ‘everyone always needs something to complain about’ — well, the people you call ‘everyone’ are long standing NEnders. All you do is complain. That’s what people do on this blog. You all vent, and it’s usually about the younger people. Don’t you think that young people KNOW they are in a city. There are more important issues….like the Nursing Home, the traffic, the bike path construction.

    2. I of course understand that the Societies want to make a profit and generate income. I have no issue with that (and it’s none of my business), and no Society that I know of has ever claimed to be not-for-profit. However, I disagree that wrapping an icon of a Saint in dollar bills pays homage to the Saint (but it seems the masses think otherwise).

  15. Ah the feasts, when the masses from revere, saugus, everette, and stoneham show up for a few days and think they own the neighborhood. Most of these people have never even lived in the north end, but yet think the neighborhood belongs to them because they had a family member who lived here 50 years ago.

  16. Do you feel the same way about the people who attend the Marathon or the 4th of July fireworks at the Charles. I’d eliminate these two events before the Feasts. These two events cause the city to be shut down & cost the taxpayers a fortune on the o/t pay for cops alone..The Feasts do not cost anyone a cent unless a person chooses to buy a raffle ticket, make a donation or have something to eat & drink.

  17. I have to say that I am VERY Disappointed that this Poll was posted on NorthEndWaterfront.com …

    ..Why in the World would you post a Poll like this in the middle of Feast season to stir up Emotions …… The very fabric of our neighborhood are the Feasts …. Traditions …. and Culture …….

    When those who move into our neighborhood know – they are there and some like ours have been here honoring our Patron Saint for 106 years …….

    We are here – MANY have been born here – and have stayed here – we have raised our children here ….. We used to have 12 – now we are down to just 4 – due to the amount of money it takes to put on these events – Which for those who do not know – are Privately paid for! … We pay for the Streets to be cleaned, the trash to be removed – the Police, Fire, EMT’s – not the tax payers of the city of Boston …. as is a common practice for other events held in the city of Boston….
    .
    in Closing … If a poll was needed – I would have like to see one asking which is your Favorite Feast…….. …. sorry for the long post – I was just Very sad to see this and had to put my feeling out there-

  18. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with a poll on the feasts. I do think that the issue is too complex for the limited voting choices.
    Speaking for myself: Do I love the feasts? YES.
    Do I think they should be kept exactly the way the are? NO. As some have commented, I think that they have evolved into more of a small-town carnival atmosphere than the original intent of a feast. As a result, they attract a carnival-goer attendance (I’m talking about the static booths here, not the parades or saint displays). I would like to see a more traditional display of food choices (from the village/town/region of the Saint’s patronal origin, for example), or more cultural displays and other attractions.
    I think that differentiating them from each other and upscaling them them culturally would both bring them back toward their original religious and cultural origins and improve the quality and behavior of the attendees.
    They are a great tradition that (I feel) has evolved with times, but could be steered back toward its origins for the benefit of all concerned.
    And let’s stop making this all about old-timers versus yuppies. It’s about the “carers” and “don’t carers” and there are plenty of old-timers and yuppies on both of those camps.
    Just my $0.02…..

  19. What are defining as a yuppie these days?

    Can you be in your mid-30s have lived here for 10 years and still like the feasts?

    Seems like people are saying you have to be someone that grew up in the neighborhood to like the feasts or you lived here for a year hate the feasts… No middle ground these days with anything I guess….

  20. What about leveraging the beautiful park/ball fields along the harbor to serve as home to these feasts? Ample room. Minimizes impact on traffic, noise, parking restrictions. Have the processions run their normal route – but take advantage of the open space by the harbor for vendors and entertainment and other ceremonies. This is a no-brainer.

    I also agree with the comment above about the need to rethink/reset the vendor and entertainment options. If the goal of these feasts is to celebrate heritage, tradition, and above all, a patron saint – maybe its time to rethink the hand-writing analysis booth or the folks selling knock-off sunglasses, or maybe the cigar booth? How about some culture? Share history, stories, food, dancing, whatever that represents the region and Saint.

    Drop the “Us” versus “Them” argument. Its tired and worn out. There are people in all different groups with differing feelings and opinions about this –

    1. Why should the feasts move away from the Society’s headquarters/club just to satisfy the people who feel inconvenienced by street closures, crowds and noise on four weekends in the summer? I have lived hear for over thirty years. Personally, I can no longer take the crowds at the feasts so I avoid them during the busiest times and walk through when it is not as crazy. That does not mean I want them to go away or move to the park (something that a newcomer to the neighborhood suggests every year). They are part of the culture of the North End and have been for over a century. Contrary to what some have said, I have heard young people complain about the feasts somehow inconveniencing their lives. Last year as I was leaving St. Lucy’s feast (the last and smallest of the season) at 9:30 PM there was a young man arguing with the detail police officer that he should force the band to stop playing and the feast to shut down because he did not like the music and the noise and wanted to go chill in peace. When the officer told this kid that the feast had a permit until 11 PM the kid demanded that it be shut down. He was lucky that the officer did not cuff him for screaming in his face.

  21. I walk through North Square almost every day and oftentimes it’s difficult to navigate the sidewalks because so many tourists are there visiting Paul Revere’s House. It’s like a circus, everyone posing for selfies, eating junk food and leaving trash all over the place. It hardly seems like my old neighborhood.

    So, do we demolish Paul’s house and build condos?

    Of course not. Paul Revere’s House is a very important part of our North End history and America’s history, just like the Italian feasts.
    I agree with Mark that sometimes things get out of control but we can regulate that ourselves perhaps through the Neighborhood Council.
    It’s all part of the exuberant street life we love about living in the North End.

    All North Enders, old and new, can lighten up and wish each other a “Buona Festa”.

  22. I never grew up in the north end. I however spent much time down there as I had a great grandmother and aunt that lived on Hanover St and I visited them every Saturday..

    I will always love the feasts. Those that are new to the neighborhood need to understand that these feasts have been a tradition down the North End and I am sure most if not all of you knew that before you moved there.

    What disappoints me about the feasts is that so many of them have gone away. St Rocco, St Joseph etc……..the feasts used to start in mid-July and now there are only 4. Also when I was a little boy, there were no vendors. I remember stoves being piped from the basements and it was the native North Enders that did the cooking………and it was all Italian food.

    The feasts have become too commercialized. I understand they need to raise funds to put the feasts on, but there has to be another way. I remember all the raffles back then……………they raffled off cars, or trips to Italy. Make the feasts the way they used to be and bring back the ones that went away.

    1. If you’d like to donate your car we would happily raffle it off…. You think someone is going to donate a car to the feast? They have a hard enough time getting people to buy 1$ raffles.

      1. I used to live in Connecticut amongst a large Sicilian population and was a member of an Italian society. Each year we would have a fundraiser. We would buy a car and raffle it off. We always made a profit 🙂

        I believe that scenario is likely what Anthony had in mind.

      2. Thank You Francesco. Viva, nobody would pay to win my car in a raffle. However, this is what was done back then, the the price of a car was a heck of a lot less than what it is now. Maybe raffle off a trip – somewhere close by and as funds are built, the value of the grand prize can grow………….this has to be better than having a frozen pizza sponsor the feast.

    2. Anthony, there are more then four feast in the North End. See that’s an issue right there. Only the feast with food stands count ? The feast are for relegious reasons, the Saints, not just food and games. And there are more then four societies in the North End. From your view, I guess maybe if the four feast went away, they won’t have this debate anymore. The feast are for the Saints, first, second and third. Or don’t the societies who honor thier Saint, just on a Sunday, don’t count ?

      1. Carmen, When I view the feast schedule every year, there looks to me like only 4 feasts and the rest are “processions”. If those processions are also feasts – then that is my mis-understanding. I see procession on the schedule and to me, it does not sound like a feast, but just the society carrying the saint around the streets of the North End. If that is not the case, then again my mis-understanding. Maybe they should describe what the procession is all about and maybe more people would attend. Then again, there is already a good amount of foot traffic down there to begin with.

  23. I agree with Theresa D this poll should have been never been put up! It does nothing but bring up the us against them issue. The feasts have been around for close to a century and are going now where soon. This poll is completely useless.

    1. This whole issue comes up every few years. I guess they run out of subjects and bring back a standard one. The feast are part of the North End. Believe it or not, tons of folks look forward to the feast in the summer. It’s brings them in to spend a good portion of the day to spend some time with the procession, go eat etc. The feast are identified as the small and large feast. The so call small one’s have a mass in the morning and then have a procession in the afternoon and then the big feast with the food stands, games. But when Sunday comes, all the societies are equal. It’s the members who take their patron saint out to what we still truly believe today, too the people. To have them see the patron saint of the town of their parents or grandparents. That’s why beyond all this issue, the members of the societies are a elite group. They are friendly towards each other, they support each other. You see members from other societies walk with other feast. That is what most don’t see or what they write about. The North End has always been congested, even in the dead of winter, driving up Prince or Hanover is an issue. It’s the flavor of the North End, has been since the Italians settled here and to this day. I get it, with the trash or noise at times. But the societies can’t walk around the streets conking everyone on the head that makes noise. It’s the way people are today, less respect for anything and everything. But the fact is and always mentioned. When you move in the North End, the feast comes with the rent. Nothing is going to change that. So if you are good people, want to live in a good neighborhood, then accept, from the 1st weekend of June to the second weekend of September. There is a chance your going to hear a band on a Sunday afternoon. You can’t move into East Boston and all of sudden complain about the planes. The planes and the Saints are not going anywhere.

      1. I wish those who keep saying there are only four feast left in the North End, really take a look. Why do we only count the feast with stands ????? And these are folks from the North End. What is a feast ? The way I was brought up and taught is a celebration of your patron saint, to honor the Saint. Where is it written it has to be three or four days long??? Saint Rocco and Saint Joesph, at one time were popular feast, yes with the stands etc. Over the years, Saint Rocco only had a mass and an afternoon procession by a small band of faithful and loyal members. We don’t count that as a feast ? And this year they didn’t even have a procession. That’s sad !!!!! Saint Joesoh did not have a procession this year and that’s sad. A feast is not defined by how many days you have. It’s your faith, remember faith, that’s the whole idea of the feasts. Your love for your relegion, God and the saints. That’s what the North End feast are really about, that’s why our grandparents founded them when they settled in the North End. Check any feast schedule over the years, the feast season of RELEGIOUS FEAST, start on the first weekend of June with, Madonna Di Anzano (111 years ) and ends with the feast of Saint Rosalie in mid September. This is what we should boast, even a small member society, still celebrate thier relegion and feast on a certain Sunday. I’m sure and hope, every member of every society thinks the same way.

  24. The poll has done nothing but serve as a catalyst for a healthy discussion among those with a vested interest in the North End. The ‘us’ versus ‘them’ sub-discussion was brought up by those commenters that cant seem to or want to engage in a discussion.

    Anthony nailed it. Over-commercialization of the feasts clearly indicates a desire (or need) to generate increased revenues – one has to wonder if the fact that there are fewer feasts these days is due to the lack of differentiation.

    1. Right, the “us versus them” discussion always makes me wince. It seems to be a convenient fall back position and an excuse for not having a meaningful discussion.

  25. The “us against them ” comments stem from people feeling that their heritage & culture are being attacked.Go to Southie & complain & suggest that the St. Patrick Day Parade be eliminated.

  26. Just want to put this out there – to all who are talking about the money the Feast make – I would lIke to share this with you –

    Do you know – what it costs to put on a 3/4 day Feast?
    Do you know – Who pays for it?

    The Society that is sponsoring the Feast – They have to pay for the following – They have to have contracts in hand – Before the City will give them permits to hold their event.

    Police details – for every day/night of the Feast – several police officers on paid detail – strolling the area
    Fire details – for every day/night of the Feast – 2 Fireman – to walk – the area
    EMT details – they are there on bike and for the larger feasts their are ambulance near – on standby if they are needed – most common call for them at the feast – is Heat stroke
    Trash pick up – contract with a company that continually empty the barrels and then remove all the trash each night –
    Sidewalk/street cleaning – at the end of the Feast a company comes in and power washes the streets/sidewalks
    Porta potties –
    Then the City permits
    and entertainment

    on the very low end of things – it takes $40K – to put on these events – ALL of it is paid by the Society – through fundraising, Sponsors and the vendor booths – so although they are not desirable to some here posting – we as a group do our best to have a nice assortment –

    Very Few of the other City Events pay for these services – instead they are picked up by the City of Boston tax payers.

    Also I love what Nick Dello Russo said – about North Sq and Paul Revere’s house – the trash etc — that is there 365 days a year …so do we tear down his house and drive him out of town? …. no – we work with it – and try to make it right. And I for one can tell you the members of all the feasts do their best to work with the neighborhood – Each Society gets countless letters for donations – whether from the Little League, The Nazzaro Center, The Senior Center – NEMPC – The Elliot – or St Johns – they answer the requests and donate to these groups – and they do so much more –
    They don’t advertise what they do – as that is not what neighbors do – but they are here as the very Thread this neighborhood is made up of…

    I also don’t like the Yuppie terms – throw out there … that was the 90’s …. and we have moved passed this – and Many of those Young Professionals that moved to our neighborhood for connivance – fell in love with our little piece of the world – they found love here – they married and chose to stay here in the North End and raise their children – and That is why we are such a Wonderful neighborhood!

    So if you are unhappy here – … and there are just too many things you don’t like – … like noise, parking etc – (which happens on more days than there are feasts) …. nothing says you have to stay….. please when your lease is up – move on – and find a place that makes you happy – if you own – well – put your place on the market – sell and move to a quieter place – now is the time to sell – most places are getting more than the asking price!

    Had to make one last post on this ….. after reading all the comments –
    The North End is a wonderful place – next to No Crime – No shootings – … I’lll take parking problems and noise –
    Have a Wonderful day and God Bless

    1. I don’t think anyone is criticizing any society for making money. It wouldn’t make sense for them to put on a feast knowing it’s a loss, they are not charities.

      Paul Revere House is an apples to oranges comparison.

      1. Aren’t they charities? Religious charities, right? The clubs started as a way to insure the lives of fisherman, etc. in a time when waspy banks and governments wouldn’t give immigrants insurance or annuities for their wives/widows. The chosen Saint was a regional identifier, and a way to keep the benevolent funds tax free. I imagine the fishing industry alone doesn’t support this anymore, so It’s necessary to attract people with doowop hits sponsored by Sorrento cheese to remind everyone of a time before busing led to white flight and the tenements were abandoned allowing the “yuppies” (aka not from here) and “college kids” (anyone under 40, apparently) to buy from someone’s mother who wanted to move to Everett or rent from that mother’s son so he could collect and move to Lynnfield.
        So, enjoy your little happy days party. Just hire more cops and clean up when you’re done.

    2. Therese, I know where you are coming from. I am the vice president of a foundation in Somerville and fund raising is tough, especially in these times. I think you all do a great job and it is obvious that you are doing whatever it takes to put on the feasts.

  27. Ivey me start out by saying I am not “from here” but have lived here most of my adult life (a decade and a half)

    The feasts are ok and while I’m not a super fan of them I’m not going to say they need to go.

    1) clean up is important it doesn’t matter who makes the mess

    2) the BIGGEST issue I have it taking away resident spots for vendors to park and I’m not talking about where the games and food area..

    They are hear making money and they get spots reserved for their vehicles while residents have to pay to park or risk tickets?

    I don’t think itMs too much to ask that the city limit the number of auxiliary.

  28. To people who think that the Feasts have abandoned celebrating the Patron Saints. I suggest you go down to North St.. Sunday at 8 PM. and check out the Flight of the Angel a true treasure.

  29. I think it’s a shame how people move into a nieghbprhood because the love the cultute, the traditions, the ethnicity and the safety the feel and it all is there because of the REAL nieghbprhood people !!! The feast are part of the nieghbprhood fabric and have been there for over 100 years !!!! Now it’s one of the only things we have left of how we grew up !!!! When I was a kid the feast ran later into the night and there were a lot move of them For those who moved here enjoy !! For those who hate LEAVE !!!! Between people that don’t understand what the feast mean and just think it’s a party , mind your business !!!! And the ever changing playing field of city rules and regulations give the feast a break. To those who believe and make promises to their patron and have favors granted I say to you VIVA !!!!! And don’t let anyone
    Take from you what’s yours !!! North End people you need to stay strong and band together against all enemy forces !!!

    1. sorry, but most people aren’t moving into the north end because of the culture, traditions, or ethnicity. did you not see the memo that the north end has not been majority italian for a while now? those are just the facts.

      1. Whether the population of the NE is not Italian any longer is irrelevant to this debate.To the people who do not want to see the Feasts in the neighborhood the solution is simple move to another neighborhood . It’s the height of arrogance that because someone does not appreciate the Feasts that they should be eliminated. It’s an insult to the hard working men & woman of these societies & to the memory of former members who are no longer with us.

        1. But Michael, some may also see arrogance in the logic that you lay out. Not everyone appreciates or is interested in the feasts, and that’s their prerogative. Some can care less. Failure to accept these facts in itself is arrogant.

          1. Francesco, I’m not suggesting that people need to appreciate or have any interest in them that’s their choice & their right.The arrogance stems from those who do not care for the Feasts and want to eliminate them.

  30. Heather, original North Enders & former North enders were outraged & expressed it here about the plans to close the nursing home and will do everything to prevent it from happening.Now they are defending what to many of us is a time honored tradition the Feasts.I will repeat what I said in a previous comment.Some of the opposition to the feasts & the “old North Enders” is no doubt anti Italian sentiment. We have been dealing with that & fighting against it all our lives.So if you don’t think it exists you must be pretty naive.

  31. My suggestion would be to actually pay attention to the Processions on Sundays that can last up to 11 hours. We walk the streets of our neighborhood not as a gimmick, not as entertainment but as a tradition and a devotion that so many people have in their hearts, it’s extremely difficult to describe. I’ve seen the statue lifted to windows so elderly people can kiss the ’Saint’ & ask for a blessing, people in wheelchairs are lifted & I saw them lift a gurney for a patient at the Nursing home so she could get close enough to touch the ‘Saint” bringing me to tears from the dedication of Society members. The men & women of the Societies are fiercely loyal & proud to carry the ‘Saint’ which gets heavier as the day goes on. As mentioned above, they do this selflessly, taking time from work and donating time before and after the festivals which take all year to plan and again as above, the societies PAY for EVERYTHING themselves. The money collected goes to permits ,Police detail, EMTs , lights, entertainment, the bands and cleaning up, then what is left over is donated to many, many people in need. People travel from all over the world to be part of these celebrations and to attend as devotees.
    So complain about the noise…the mess….the smell…the inconvenience to YOU but maybe take time to actually FEEL what this means to so many people her & beyond our crowded streets. It isn’t only about the food & the vendors – it’s about tradition…it’s about devotion.
    Then decide if you should embrace the neighborhood as it should be or move to where there isn’t any flavor but there is parking and quiet and I imagine clean streets because nothing like this goes on there.
    I am proud of OUR neighborhood – proud of my heritage – proud to be a Bostonian.
    VIVA!!!!!

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