A once in a generation celebration came to fruition for the 100th Anniversary of the Saint Anthony’s Feast as the gold-adorned statue emerged for its centennial to the faithful under the glory of confetti and streamers. The largest Italian festival in New England attracted hundreds of thousands over the weekend to honor San Antonio and participate in what is known as the “Feast of all Feasts” organized by San Antonio di Padova da Montefalcione, Inc.
From Italy, Fr. Alessandro Ratti OFM Conv came from the Basicica of St. Anthony in Padua to perform a special blessing and offer a unique viewing of venerated relics of Saint Anthony that were processed through the streets of the North End. Also on hand was the North End’s own Fr. Antonio OFM of St. Leonard Church. During the opening nights of the feast, several bands marched through the streets while friends and families gathered for the annual celebration.
From a barge in Boston Harbor, fireworks capped off the opening ceremonies of the festival. The fun continued all weekend with Italian American music, delicious foods and confections, religious services, cooking demonstrations, olive oil and cheese tastings, live radio and TV broadcasts, and the grand procession of Saint Anthony & Saint Lucy, featuring award-winning drum and bugle corps, marching bands, sponsor floats and color guard. (Photos by Matt Conti, click to enlarge and view more feast photos here.)
(Photos by Matt Conti, view more feast photos here.)