'The Godfather' not welcome at famed NYC San Gennaro Feast
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The Feast of San Gennaro put a hit on “The Godfather.”

“In our rules, nobody can sell anything with ‘The Godfather’ or mobsters or anything that denigrates Italians,” John Fratta, a member of the committee that runs the iconic Little Italy festival, held from Sept. 15 to 25, told The Post. “We don’t need people thinking that the mob is running the feast.”

The 2016 decree was added to its vendor rules — and store owners in the area were told that if they want to still peddle the items, they must only be sold inside their shops.

“It’s gone. We don’t want that crap there,” he said of the mob-orabilia.

The vending booths are blessed by a monsignor on the first night of the event, now in its 96th year.

There was a time when zeppoles weren’t the only hot dough being passed around at the feast, which runs along Mulberry Street from Canal to Houston streets and honors the patron saint of Naples, Italy.

In 1996, then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani protected feast vendors after a federal indictment alleged the mob took $1.5 million from them in rental fees.

"The Godfather” t-shirt
John Fratta refuses the Feast of San Gennaro to be associated with “The Godfather.”
Helayne Seidman
John Fratta, San Gennaro committee member, stands on Mulberry St. where preparations are going on for the annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy.
John Fratta vows to fight Italian mob stereotypes fueled by “The Godfather.”
Helayne Seidman

“Giuliani cleaned up this feast very well. Years ago, for key spots, there were envelopes given,” recalled Ernest Lepore, owner of Ferrara Bakery on Grand Street, which host the feast’s cannoli-eating contest on Friday. “You had to pay so much over and you got the spot and [the mobster] got an envelope. Even in jail he would get an envelope.”

The feast was portrayed in “The Godfather, Parts II and III” movies, under the name Feast of San Rocco. Scenes of the feast also appear the recent Paramount+ miniseries “The Offer,” which recalls the real-life involvement of gangsters in the making of the films.

“I don’t talk about ‘The Godfather,’” Fratta said. “I fight that. I’m with the Sons of Italy, and we fight that stereotype over and over again and it just keeps on creeping back to us.”

Cannolis are made at Ferrara’s on Grand St. in preparation for festivities.
Cannolis are made at Ferrara’s on Grand St. in preparation for festivities.
Helayne Seidman
San Gennaro Feast: New York - Real estate of Ferrara’s on Grand St.
Former Mayor Rudy Guilliani helped vendors from being threatened by the mob.
Helayne Seidman

The Mulberry Street native, whose great grandfather, Luigi Vitale, was one of the founders of the feast, sat down last week with Mayor Adams – one of its honorary marshals this year.

“We met with the mayor and he said, ‘Do me a favor, give me the history of the feast,’” Fratta said. “And we told him, and he said, ‘This is something we have to keep.’”

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