Williamsburg in the summer seems to be an endless blend of celebrations. Whether it’s some sort of feast, carnival or literal mass taking place on the streets, the neighborhood gets bedecked in tinsel finery all season long.
While Little Italy has their San Gennaro festival, last night kicked off the beginning of the Giglio Festival in Williamsburg, now in its 124th year. Both a religious tribute and all out street fair, each year the festival takes over the strip of Havemeyer St near N 8th every night til July 17. I’ve always had a soft spot for street fairs and their unbeatable fixed games, fried foods, and of course, the thrill seeking rides like the Gravitron with questionable safety standards. Just don’t eat too many zeppoles before riding on said Gravitron.
Cheap fun aside, the main event of the festival is this Sunday night with the “Dancing of the Giglio”. While images like THIS may pop into your head upon hearing dancing of the (ghee-lee-O), the Giglio actually refers to a giant 80 ft tall and three-ton statue honoring Italy’s St. Paulinus. What usually takes 100 plus men to carry, winds up being even more considering there’s also a procession of carrying the life-size version of St.Paulinus’s boat. Cross your fingers there’s no banana peels around.
Even if you miss the main event, it’s a fun cheap way to kill a weekday evening. And you may even go home with a stomach ache and a free goldfish if you’re really really lucky.
July 6- July 17
Dancing of the Giglio
Sunday, July 10
N 8th & Havemeyer St [Williamsburg]
Photo Credit: NY Press