Feast of San Gennaro to Celebrate Dean Martin's 100th Birthday This Weekend
The 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro will celebrate Dean Martin's 100th Birthday with a three hour tribute on Saturday, September 23, from 2 to 5 PM on the Feast Performance Stage at the corner of Grand and Mott Streets in Little Italy.
Hosted by TV personality Bill Boggs, the opening hour of the celebration (2 to 3 PM) will include remembrances of Dean by members of the entertainment community, including Tony Danza, Gianni Russo, Michael Garin. Danny Bacher and a live phone interview with Martin's daughter Deana at 2:30 PM, and performances of some of Dean Martin's classic songs by guest performers.
From 3 to 4 PM, there will be a singing competition among performers who make a living as Dean Martin sound-alikes. They will be performing some of their favorite Dean Martin classics and will be judged by a panel including singer Steve Maglio, Bill Boggs and music lover Ernie Rossi, owner of Little Italy's famous Rossi Gift Shop on Grand Street.
From 4 to 5 PM, the Dean Martin musical tribute will continue with performances by surprise guests and other possible testimonials. Near the end of the hour, Ernest Lepore, co-owner of Little Italy's world famous Ferrara Bakery, and his staff will carry out a giant Birthday Cake they have been preparing for this special occasion. The cake, designed in the form of a giant cocktail glass, will be placed on the stage by Ernest and Ferrara staff members who will then distribute the slices to members of the audience and other Feast-goers in the area. There will be sufficient slices for several hundred people!
Prior to the start of the Dean Martin Birthday Celebration, the Feast will hold its Second Annual Little Italy Meatball Eating Competition from 1 to 2 PM in memory of the late John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia, who was known as "The Unofficial Mayor of Little Italy." Cha Cha, who passed away in November 2015, loved his meatballs and in his memory his wife Karen King and best friend Tony Danza, whose career Cha Cha also managed, decided to create this annual eating competition.
For additional information about the Feast of San Gennaro, visit www.sangennaro.org.