Pictures: Fisherman’s Feast takes over the North Finish


The ‘Flight of the Angel’ custom capped off a weekend of meals, music, and parades celebrating Boston’s Italian-American neighborhood.

Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe

Boston’s North Finish neighborhood threw its 113th annual Fisherman’s Feast this weekend, a four-day celebration of the neighborhood’s Italian roots.

This 12 months’s Feast featured a number of processions via the streets of the North Finish, full with floats, dancers, and a marching band. Native artists performed conventional Italian music plus traditional Italian-American hits. A meatball competitors pitted Massachusetts’ greatest Italian eating places in opposition to one another.

The Fisherman’s Feast was born within the 1500s in Sciacca, Sicily, the place the Madonna del Soccorso, or Our Woman of Assist, was mentioned to have carried out many therapeutic miracles for the townspeople. They commissioned a marble statue of the Madonna, and in 1503, the city’s fishermen transported it by boat from Palermo again to Sciacca. Their journey culminated with a parade from the harbor to the church on the town the place the statue would reside. 

Every time a disaster — like a plague or earthquake — befell Sciacca, the townspeople would carry the statue out of the church and into the city sq., and pray to the Madonna. Legend has it she granted their prayers, and the townspeople started throwing an enormous feast in her honor every year.

Sicilian immigrants arrived in Boston on the flip of the twentieth century, and introduced the custom with them. The North Finish celebrated its first Fisherman’s Feast in 1910. 

Every year, members of Boston’s Fisherman’s Membership open the festivities by parading their very own statue of the Madonna del Soccorso via the North Finish to Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, for the blessing of the fishing waters. 

Revelers carry the Statue of the Madonna although the streets of the North Finish on Aug. 20, 2023.

The pageant culminated Sunday night time with the “Flight of the Angel” when a younger “angel” — decked out in golden finery and suspended by wires — “flies” down from a third-floor window to fulfill the statue. This 12 months’s angel, 12-year-old Gianna Puccio, was flying within the Feast for a uncommon second consecutive 12 months. She stuffed on this 12 months for one more woman who needed to drop out, after first being granted the honour in 2022.

“I get to hold on a practice that’s been occurring for a really very long time, and I get to only be myself,” Puccio advised The Boston Globe.

The Boston Herald reported a number of studies of underage ingesting. Boston police made one arrest and 5 court docket summonses for underage ingesting on the Feast on Friday night time, in accordance with the Herald. The outlet reported that teenagers have “inundated” the pageant and others prefer it in recent times.

Fisherman’s Feast co-chairman Danny Puccio (who’s Gianna Puccio’s father) assured the Herald that younger individuals confirmed as much as the pageant, however “they weren’t rowdy” and didn’t interrupt the celebration.

Gianna Puccio, 12, prepares to take flight because the angel at this 12 months’s Fisherman’s Feast.
Danny Puccio leads his daughter Gianna out into the Fisherman’s Feast.
Gianna Puccio flies because the angel for the second 12 months in a row.
Gianna Puccio floats down to fulfill the station of the Madonna de Soccorso.
Confetti blasts on the Fisherman’s Feast within the North Finish on Aug. 20, 2023. – Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe