Tony Danza to Host Meatball Eating Competition at Feast of San Gennaro
On Saturday afternoon, September 23, the 91 Annual Feast of San Gennaro will stage two celebrations : the Second Annual Little Italy Meatball Eating Competition in memory of John 'Cha Cha' Ciara, the unofficial Mayor of Little Italy who passed in November 2015. hosted by actor/singer Tony Danza; and the 100th Birthday of Dean Martin. hosted by TV personality Bill Boggs.
The Meatball Eating Competition will take place from 1 to 2 PM when as many as ten big eaters roll up their sleeves and dig into platters of freshly made meatballs prepared in the kitchen of Ferrara Bakery Restaurant. The eaters will be judged by how many meatballs they consume in eight minutes.
At 2 PM the mood will change when Bill Boggs takes the stage and introduces a stream of celebrities who knew and worked with Dean over the years. They will include actor-singers Tony Danza and Gianni Russo; singer Danny Bacher, who will also perform some of Dean's big hits; and renowned club singer/pianist Michael Garin. At 2:30 PM, Boggs will initiate a phone call interview with Martin's daughter Deana which the audience will listen in on over the sound system.
From 3 to 4 PM, there will be a singing competition in which six or more professional Dean Martin sound-alike entertainers will perform some of Dino's classics. A panel of three judges -- comprised of Bill Boggs, Steve Maglio and Ernie Rossi - will select the winner who will take home a cash award. The tribute will conclude during the 4 to 5 PM hour when Ferrara co-owner Ernest Lepore and his staff wheel onto the stage a giant Birthday Cake they have created in the shape of a huge cocktail glass. They will cut the cake into several hundred slices which they will distribute to the crowd of people in the audience.