The 87th annual Feast of San Gennaro kicked off on Mulberry Street Thursday with a classically delicious competition.
The rain wasn't enough to stop this year's 'eat-off.' which brought together professional and amateur eaters from around the country.
The 2013 winner ate an impressive 32 cannolis.
The festival celebrates San Gennarro, the patron saint of Naples.
The 11-day event features parades, music, carnival games and most of all, food from restaurants all over the city.
For many people, it's a chance to reconnect with their past.
"Essentially for the Italian-Americans here, it's a preservation of a value system and a religious and cultural experience. That's what it is for us," said Joseph Mattone Sr., president of the San Gennaro Festival.
"The entertainment, the music, the people and the food!" said one attendee.
"Every year, we have a lot of fun," said another attendee. "We eat, we go to the restaurants, we walk around. It's to have a good time, and we enjoy ourselves and everything."
The Grand Procession is planned for Saturday and a High Mass will be held next Thursday.
The festival runs along Mulberry Street through Sunday, September 22.