What’s the Giglio


Ethnic celebrations abound in Brooklyn every summer, including Bastille Day, Dominican Day Parade, West Indian Carnival and Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s Giglio Feast, which kicks off today in Williamsburg. The 11-day, Italian festival promises live entertainment, specialty food vendors, parades, a bazaar with games, children’s rides and amusements, as well as a first-ever “Best Meatball” contest on July 15, all of which are worth checking out, but you definitely want to be on N. 8th and Havemeyer on Sunday, July 14, for the centerpiece of the whole celebration–watching 130 men hoist a 6,000-lb., 80-foot-tall steeple festooned with lilies (giglio means lily in Italian) and a replica boat onto their backs and walk them down the streets of Brooklyn in remembrance of Paolino di Nola, a saint who sacrificed himself into slavery to save a widow’s son from pirates. It’s as much a spectacle as it is a celebration, and a tradition now in its 126th year. Also, there will be zeppole and they will be delicious.

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