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The procession of saints is an event that marks the end of the Italian Festival in the Little Italy section of Wilmington. It is held on the last day of the Festival. The Festival itself is held in the week surrounding the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, the namesake of the neighborhood church.

The Italian Festival has grown from a small neighborhood celebration in the 1930's and 1940's, to a massive festival that draws around 150,000 people a year from several states.


Every year, after the Mass in Italian, the procession of saints begins and travels throughout the Little Italy neighborhood.













Lining the saint statues in front of the church.







The St. Anthony of Padua statue serves as the culmination of the procession, stopping in front of the church as bands play music.







A Roman-style statue by La Piazza.



In the Cafe Antonian, one of the beer areas, it is common to see old couples dancing to traditional Italian music.









St. Anthony of Padua Church from Father Tucker Park.

 

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WOW, I didn't even know Wilmington had a little Italy! I love the Italians' food! Looks like quite the festival, albeit not as big as others in the U.S. though. Great pictures! Wilmington seemingly has its good amount of culture!
 

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surely, 150K people didn't show up that day did they? crowd looks rather sparce.
It draws 150,000 people over 8 days (Sunday to Sunday). The crowds look sparse also because the procession weaves its way through Little Italy, so the crowd is spread out around 10 or 12 city blocks. Lastly, the parade is just one thing on the last day. Some people don't even watch the parade, and just walk around the food courts, go on the carnival rides, or visit the gambling area during the day.

The Festival is most crowded on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. With the weekend starting, everyone is out ot relax, whether it be people in the numerous beer gardens listening to a wide variety of music, or kids going on the carnival rides and walking around the neighborhood with their friends.
 
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