In just weeks, La Festa Italiana will celebrates its 120th anniversary with five nights of foods, drinks, and bands surrounding Holy Rosary Church on Sixth Street.

The fun begins Wed., Aug. 9, and runs through Sun., Aug. 13, where, from 5–11p.m. Sixth and Brunswick Streets will transform into a lively block party. 

“I run into so many people weekly that stop and ask “When is La Festa?!” co-chairman and Emcee Nick Grillo said. “People love this event.  They plan days off, vacations, even weddings around these five days.  It’s so wonderful to still see so much excitement around this century-old event in this ever-changing city.”


Bands will perform nightly from 7–11 p.m. The B-STREET BAND, a Springsteen Tribute Band kicks off La Festa Italiana on Wednesday night performing the best of The Boss. Performing Thursday, Aug 10: THE COUNTERFEITERS. Fri., Aug. 11: TOGA PARTY BAND; Sat., Aug. 12: THE CAMEOS; Sun., Aug. 13: TOTAL SOUL, the nine-piece rock band that plays dance hits like “Shout’ and “Proud Mary.” 

“We’ve been performing La Festa since 2010, and it has become the highlight of Total Soul’s summer. All the members of the band look forward to La Festa. Everybody from the church treats us great. The whole community comes together and we just love being a part of that,” said the band’s leader, Jeff Dieterle. 


Vendors from previous years include YOUR SISTERS BALLS, which will serve homemade meatballs and sauce; DELLANO’S, which will make sausage and peppers and other Italian sandwiches. The KREME BAR will offer  “mozzareppas”; MAGLIONE’S ITALIAN ICES and MILK & CREAM BAR will sell cooling lickable desserts. TROPICAL ISLANDS will sell smoothies, waffles, and crepes; WHITE STAR will serve craft beers and cocktails. Two vendors – PIE OH MY and PATI BROTHERS – will offer wood-fired pizzas; HOBOKEN CUCINA’s Maria Kling will serve fried ravioli, meatballs, eggplant “stackers,” and mozzarella and roasted peppers sandwiches.

“I love La Festa,” Kling said, “and I love serving my food to the people who go to La Festa.”

New this year is MARIACHI GRILL with a menu of Mexican Tacos and Nachos. 

“My friend Tony, a Jersey City police officer told me about La Festa Italiana,” Mariach Grill’s owner, Rigo Alvarez said. “He said, ‘Try it. Everybody’s nice there.’”

Highlights of La Festa are the Italian specialties handmade by church parishioners like the Zeppole created from a secret recipe and dusted with powdered sugar. Homemade Rice Balls drizzled with tomato gravy always wow the crowds. At Caffe Italianolocated behind Holy Rosary, ‘church ladies’ will sell freshly made cakes, cannoli, pies, coffee and tea. There will be plenty of family seating in the back along with the popular Money Wheel and DJ CARLY, who will provide the backyard’s musical soundtrack. Another DJ will provide Brunswick Street with nonstop tunes.  

This year marks the third summer that O’Leary’s Publik House on Garfield Avenue will host the Wine & Peaches and Limoncello booth. “We love doing it,” owner and Jersey City firefighter Kevin Hennessey said. “It’s classic Jersey City and a classic Italian event.”


La Festa, a 501(c)(3) organization is being presented this year by Ziggy’s Auto Body of Jersey City. The event’s “gold sponsors” are Murray Paving and Panepinto Properties. “Silver sponsors” include Inserra Shop Rite, Cinelease Studios, the Dante Aleghieri Society, Johnston Communications, Key Food Fresh & Natural, Silverman, Children’s Cancer Society of America and Arco Construction. Diamond Sponsors are Saputo, Sorrentino Electric, and Grillo Funeral Services. 


On Aug. 13, 15, and 16, Holy Rosary Church will celebrate the Assumption and St. Rocco Feast Days. On Sun, Aug. 13, at 11:30 a.m., the Feast Day mass venerating Maria SS. Dell ’Assunta and San Rocco will be celebrated. Holy Rosary’s traditional street procession will follow the mass with statues of Maria SS. Dell ‘Assunta and San Rocco carried through the neighborhood as a blessing to downtown Jersey City. The Clarity Festival Band play traditional Italian melodies along the procession route. 

Faithful are invited to return on Tues, Aug 15, at 11 a.m. for the celebration of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and again on Wed, Aug 16, as we honor the Feast of San Rocco with a healing mass. Community fellowship and unity are a highlight of La Festa Italiana accoding to the Rev. Pastor Jerzy “Jurek” R. Zaslona. 

“Every summer our parishioners’ families and friends and those visiting Jersey City come together in both a community and spiritual unity,” Fr. Jurek said. “Holy Rosary Church has always been a church of inclusivity – we welcome everyone – and La Festa gives us the opportunity to celebrate that inclusiveness with lively music, delicious food, and meaningful fellowship.”

Founded in 1885, Holy Rosary Church is the first Italian Church in New Jersey, and La Festa Italiana is Holy Rosary’s special way of saying “thank you” to its parishioners and neighbors. The Church will be open to visitors during the event. Visitors are invited to offer a seven-day memorial candle before San Rocco or the Blessed Mother in honor or memory of loved ones. Donation is $15 per candle, and candles will be available in the church vestibule every evening from 5–9 p.m. 

For more information, please call us at (201) 795-0120 or (201) 776-9222 or visit The event can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.