|Giorgio's Italian & French Pastry Shop- Hoboken, NJ 2017|
Every year on the Saturday nearest March 19, Italian-American Catholic revelers flood the streets in honor of the Feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of Sicily. The differences between the St. Patrick's Day festivities and the St. Joseph's Day parade are unmistakable. Instead of green, St. Joseph's marchers wear red. Instead of shamrocks, they carry lucky fava beans.
The parade in New Orleans is rooted to a reverent, yet humble start: In 1970, a single pickup truck honoring St. Joseph trailed behind the yearly Irish Channel Parade, according to Mark Fonte, historian for the St. Joseph Society. But the Italian-American community in the city longed for a public way to express their heritage and appreciation for St. Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and foster father to Jesus.