The annual Giglio Feast runs from July 10 to the 21 and has been a part of the community for the last 126 years when it was started by Italian immigrants based on a similar tradition in their homeland.
Giglio Sunday starred nearly 130 trained pallbearers lifting the 80-foot, three-ton statue and a band that played for two complete turns before placing it back on the ground.
Lifts take place throughout the entire feast and include a backward march and a quick drop and lift. Each lift covers between 20 and 40 yards.
“It’s really something to see,” said Carl Bonomo, the festival’s general chairman. “It’s unique to any other feast in New York.”
In addition to the lifting of the statue, 120 men lifted and carried a life-size boat with a statue of St. Paulinus.
The feast, which runs from 6 to 11 p.m. on weekdays and from noon to midnight on weekends, also features games and rides, Italian delicacies and even a contest for the best meatballs in town.
The first ever meatball contest took place on Monday, July 15, along with an Old Timers Day featuring some 30 former copas.
On Wednesday, July 17, there was a night lift, and a children’s lift is planned for Friday, July 19.
The full name of the event is The Feast of Our Lady Mount Carmel and St. Paulinus of Nola and it is the second most popular street festival in New York.