PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The weeklong festival in Hammonton, N.J. that boasts just under 15,000 residents expects to host about 70,000 visitors.
Already three days in, the Our Lady Mount Carmel Festival is touted as the “longest-running Italian festival in the U.S.” and it’s organized by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society.
“There are all kinds of out-of-towners, people from out of state and Philadelphia,” Frank Carrelli, Parish Council president said. “It’s all the Italian traditions of people coming to Mass, lighting candles, enjoying the food, staying for the procession and some of them actually walk in the procession.”
Louis J. Pantalone, president of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society said, “Even though the week-long festival features food, amusement rides, a beer garden and free entertainment, this is first and foremost a religious celebration.”
A series of Masses and prayer services at St. Joseph’s Church are scheduled for Feast Day, which is Sunday.
Admission is free to the festival grounds near St. Joseph’s Church on Third Street, but there are individual fees for carnival rides and food. The festival starts at 6 p.m. nightly with entertainment from 7-11 p.m.