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Reader Poll: What Is Your Favorite Part of the North End Feasts?

Feasts season is in full swing in the North End with one of the largest ones, the feast of Saint Anthony, to be celebrated this upcoming weekend.

Home base for St. Anthony’s Feast is at the corner of Endicott and N. Margin Streets where the grandstand stage has entertainment as crowds mingle

The ever-present Italian culture is amplified in the neighborhood during these festivities, with people coming from near and far to celebrate the Saints. What is your favorite part of the North End feasts? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Note: Web polls are not scientific, representing only those readers who choose to vote.

16 Replies to “Reader Poll: What Is Your Favorite Part of the North End Feasts?

  1. Definitly the processions, the marching bands, the entertainments, the atmosphere and the people. It’s always a pleasure coming each and every year particpating by marching in all the processions from June all the way to August. It means a lot to me, my dad’s side it’s tradition and it would suck if the switch was pulled !!!!

    1. Former Mayor Ray Flynn wrote a touching tribute and story of the NE Feasts and people in today’s Boston Herald.

  2. It’s also a pleasure taking pictures and putting videos up showing all my school friends, my north end people, etc what the tradition. The feasts is one of the best things about the North End besides visiting during the offseason. As longs as the negativity (ie, yuppies who complain, punks who barge in) goes away the feast will be just fine. There are a few societys that should step there game up too. I’m already fed up by one of them because of the cowardness they put towards me, I will not mention the society. Got that out of my chest. I’m all ready for St Anthony’s feast, it’s all about postivity and family coming together.

  3. All of the above plus seeing old friends and acquaintances. Sadly the numbers have dwindled significantly over the last few years. Still a favorite time of the year for me. Cherished memories for sure. 💘

  4. The food? The music? The bands? The merchandise vendors? The people? They all stink equally. I can’t believe people think these feasts offer anything good anymore. A lot of natives tell me they are now a disgrace compared to what they used to be. The feasts seem liked a tired excuse for people to come back to the old neighborhood and to pretend they still own it. Sad.

    1. Don’t worry, I knew I would get a lot of blowback. Thanks to Matt, however, for allowing unpopular opinions like mine to be posted on his website.

  5. I really feel that I cannot vote with these suggestions~~~~my heart swells EVERY TIME a Band Plays, and committee members carry a Statue commemorating a Beloved Saint !! I always did and hope that I always will feel this deep Religious feeling that is the TRUE MEANING of these ceremonies !! The Fisherman’s Feast demonstrates the most deep traditional events of all !!
    The Madonna getting honored, the Blessing of the Waters and the Fishermen that sail them, the little girls chanting Italian Praises in their Angelic Apparel and presenting to the Saint their Bouquets of Flowers. Not only as Italian Americans, but as people on the whole~~~~~~~We hold onto so little of our religious and social traditions!!!
    If I live to be 100 I only hope that these wonderful feelings will still “GET TO ME” !!

  6. Truth – Coming back to the feast for those of us who grew up in the North End is very emotional. It’s a remembrance of our childhood where we had so many friends and everyone knew and took care of each other. It was the perfect neighborhood. I don’t expect you to understand our love of the way we grew up and the memories we have because you did not experience it. Lots of people come to the feasts for the food and the fun atmosphere but there is no meaning behind that for them. It’s what happens after the feasts are over and the societies charitable work that no one thinks about. St. Anthony’s feast is a part of my life, culture and tradition that you should at least respect.

  7. Charles, Janet and Diane your comments said it all. Some people will never understand how many of us feel about the Feasts and what they represent to us. 🙏

    1. My second comment I had to get that out of my chest, my feelings towards a few societies is real. Not being miserable just my instict towards them. I’m happy to attend the feasts every year.
      Michael D thanks for understanding

  8. The Best Part for me is being a member of St Lucy for 35+ years I tell everybody what a loving and great Women’s Society it is The Charities are to much to count Perkins School for the Blind,Home for Italian children, NEAD, Gift Boxes for our Men and Women over sees Its Endless for charities St Lucy does Proud to be a member Viva Santa Lucia!!!

  9. I would say, the devotion of the members and thier families to thier relegion and faith that keep the societies alive over changing times. The behind the scenes that it takes to make sure you come another year. We have seen over the years the dwindling of membership in some societies , but they still come out on thier feast day, with thier Saint. That’s devotion of remaining membership. The outdoor feast are nice, it’s a celebration, but on that Sunday procession, all the societies are equal , they continuing a tradition in faith from thier Grandparent, parents etc. I’m a proud member of the Society of Madonna Di Anzano, one of the oldest in the North End, we still celebrate, we go up streets that we know that no one lives there anymore. But we do that to remember the past members, in our faith, we believe they are there in spirit. That’s the best things of the feast, pointing the statue for that brief moment to a house to remember them. We always have members attend every procession to show support to our fellow societies , and to our friends . Big or small, we go out to honor God, faith, our Saints. That is the number one reason, always. The members of all the societies , big or small, are the protectors of the tradition of the North End feast.

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