People on the swing ride at a carnival
Taking a spin at the San Sebastian Feast & Carnival in Kaveny Field.

It’s that time of the year when Montclair comes alive with the most anticipated end-of-summer event—the Saint Sebastian Feast & Carnival! This annual celebration screams “New Jersey” louder than a crowd of Bruce Springsteen fans chanting “Bruuuuce!” It’s also a chance to experience the rich cultural heritage put on for 97 years by The San Sebastian Society and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Missing out on the Feast & Carnival would be like turning down an invitation to one of the best parties in town.

First, let’s be real about what you’re getting into. Plan to spend a mini fortune on rides that practically popped up overnight and on games that might just have a trick or two up their sleeves (but hey, winning a stuffed animal at a ring toss comes with some serious bragging rights, right?). Navigating through the crowd will feel like you’re actually on the Scrambler, and you’ll probably gain a few pounds from indulging in meat on a stick and bags of powdered sugar-covered zeppoles. But you know what? It’s all part of the fun experience.

So, strap in for the ride because here are 5 reasons why you absolutely, positively, without a doubt, must attend the Saint Sebastian Feast & Carnival:

  1. Food & drink: Enjoy sizzling Italian sausages on the grill, brick oven pizza, funnel cakes and warm zeppoles covered in powdered sugar that would make any Nonna proud. And for those who like their food on a stick, there are plenty of options, from meat kabobs to corn dogs. Wash it all down with a drink at the Wine & Beer Garden. 
  2. Rides: Are you a thrill-seeker always looking for the next big adrenaline rush? Look no further! The carnival brings a lineup of heart-pounding rides for all ages—including the infamous “Ring of Fire” roller coaster—that will take you on twists, turns and loops that’ll leave you screaming for more. Or throwing up your zeppoles… Tip: ride before you eat. 
  3. Live Entertainment: You’re in for a treat at the feast with the lineup of live entertainment. Enjoy a Frank Sinatra impersonator serenading you in the “Summer Wind,” DJs spinning dance hits, Tommy “The Voice” Scala crooning the oldies and a soul band bringing the funk. Live entertainment is from 6-10 p.m. each night, and the schedule is as follows:
    • Wednesday, August 23 – DJ Rob, “The King of Spin”
    • Thursday, August 24 – Bloomfield’s Own: Midnight DJ Productions
    • Friday, August 25– Tommy “The Voice” Scala
    • Saturday, August 26 – Eddie & The Gang: The Rockin’ Soul Band
    • Sunday, August 27 – Sinatra Sensation: Eric DeLauro
  4. Cultural Celebration: At the heart of Saint Sebastian is the celebration of Italian-American faith and cultural heritage. The feast began in 1926 when the St. Sebastian Society moved the event to the U.S. from Sicily, Italy. The celebration culminates with the procession of the statue of St. Sebastian through the streets to the Kaveny field on Sunday, August 27, beginning at 3:30 p.m. 
  5. Community Fun: Above all, the Saint Sebastian Feast & Carnival isn’t just an event; it’s a way to connect with your community and make lasting memories with friends and family. Trust me, the memories you make at the carnival will be recounted for years.

See you there! I’ll be at the zeppole stand covered in powdered sugar.

The celebration culminates with the procession of the statue of St. Sebastian through the streets to the Kaveny field on Sunday, August 27, beginning at 3:30 p.m.  (Photo: Adam Anik)

The Saint Sebastian Feast & Carnival
August 23–27: Wednesday–Friday: 5–10 p.m. / Saturday & Sunday, 3–10 p.m.
Procession: August 27 at 3:30 p.m.
Location: Kaveny field & Christopher Street area
Cost: Priceless

Editor, writer, social media manager. Food, cocktail and coffee lover. Proud Jersey girl.