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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Buona Festa, Hammonton!

People enjoying rides from various heights on July 12, 2018. (THG/Annabella Peretti. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

Is everyone ready for a good time?

Because the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is returning to Hammonton in its full glory from July 15 to July 20, and whether you come because of faith or the festivities, it is going to be a good time.

There will be Masses, a candle shrine and a procession for the faithful. There will be a carnival, beer gardens, food of all kinds, music and a kind of town-wide reunion as well.

If all the banners, lights and flags put up in the downtown area and Hammonton’s Little Italy make it feel like a kind of local holiday, that’s only because it is one. Whether you have lived here for six decades or six minutes, it’s impossible not to have your life touched by this huge days-long local celebration.

Putting it into perspective, the Red, White & Blueberry Festival, one of the top events in Hammonton, has a 35-year history and draws thousands of people to town during the day it is held. It is a major event staged by the Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce that means a lot to our community.

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is 146 years old this year and is the longest-running Italian festival in America. It draws thousands of people to town on each of the six days it is held. The event is put on by the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society and St. Mary of Mount Carmel Parish also holds events concurrent with it, as does the local Sons of Italy and the Our Lady of Assumption Society.

The fun that comes from the “Feast Week” flows naturally from a deep sense of faith and an embracing of the week’s festivities from the people who come to Hammonton to share in them. For many, the Feast Week is an enduring tradition that was stifled last year by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

This year, the entire Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has returned. We welcome it with open arms and congratulate the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society and everyone else involved on bringing it back to Hammonton. We’ll see everyone there—Buona Festa, Hammonton!


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