They flexed their muscles and received their blessings, all to do some heavy lifting.
Dozens of children took part in the lifting of the Giglio at the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg Tuesday night.
"We need to pick the whole Giglio up and bring it around the whole entire thing," said Joseph Giudice, a Giglio lifter.
The kids pick up the structure that weighs several hundred pounds, walk it down Havemeyer Street along the festival route passing by the church and stopping periodically to bounce it up and down. It's the mini take on the adult version that happens throughout the festival - a tradition that's been going strong for 115 years in the neighborhood.
"I lifted. My father lifted. My grandfather lifted. My great grandfather actually helped build the church when they moved it from where the BQE is to where it is now. So we've been here a very long time," said Paul Giudice, a Giglio lifter.
And now his sons take part. The children's lift only happens once during the 11 day festival. But the adults carry a five story, four ton Giglio several times to pay homage to Italy.
"Giglio in Italian means Lily. It's the flower that legend has it that the people of the area of Nola Italy, which is just outside of Naples, went down to the seashore to greet the bishop coming back home. He saved all the children of the town," said Joe Peluso, a member of The Giglio Band.
The statue of the bishop sits atop the white structure. And the Italian festival honoring him has been replicated here since 1903, after many Italians settled in this part of Williamsburg. But over the past decade, as the neighborhood became trendy and more expensive, many Italians moved out. They say the annual feast brings them back.
"You always come back these two weeks and still feel the old tradition of what the neighborhood used to be like," said Paul Giudice.
"This is my home. It'll always be my home. That's never going to change," Peluso added.
And they say they'll keep passing on this old tradition to the new generation.
The Feast of Mt Carmel runs through Monday, July 16.