One of the oldest and best-loved festivals in New Jersey returns this Friday and runs through Tuesday, July 26. The St. Ann’s Italian Festival, which was first held in 1910, is back to full force in Hoboken after a couple of scaled-back years due to the pandemic.

The festival features rides, games, live music and lots and lots of food. According to the St. Ann’s website: "Get ready to eat our famous zeppole, cheesesteaks, rice balls, wood-fired pizza, fried calamari, and seafood salad, etc. Don't forget our BEER GARDEN!!!"

According to Patch.com, the festival was started by immigrants from San Giacomo, Italy who founded the St. Ann’s Society. They built the church in 1906 and started holding the festival in 1910.

There are novena Masses held for nine days leading up the festival and then on the celebration, a 600-pound statue of St. Ann is carried in a procession through Hoboken following an 11 a.m. Mass.

About St. Ann (again from the church’s website): "Saint Ann is a wonderful intercessor, She is our Blessed Mother's Mom and Jesus' grandmother! She is the patron saint of unmarried women, women in labor, grandmothers, childless people and the poor."

The festival hours are:

Friday, July 22: 6 - 11 p.m.

Saturday, July 23: 1 - 11 p.m.

Sunday, July 24: 1 - 11 p.m.

Monday, July 25: 6 - 11 p.m.

Tuesday, July 26: 1 - 11 p.m.

The festival takes place on the blocks near St. Ann's Church at Seventh and Jefferson streets, near the center of town.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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