NYC Giglio Feast Faces New Dilemma as Lifters Are in Short Supply

The Brooklyn feast, which began in 1903, is in need of able-bodied volunteers to keep the NYC spectacle going strong.

Thousands of feast-goers take over Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood every summer to witness the lifting of the Giglio—a 4-ton, 72-foot statue that’s carried through the crowd by roughly 180 men.

This year marks the 116th anniversary of the larger-than-life tradition, which honors Italian Saint Paulinas of Nola, who sacrificed himself to save others and in return was greeted with giglio (lilies).

But, the century-old tradition has been hit with an unexpected challenge: there are not enough strongmen to carry the massive statue.

According to WLNY-CBS, the organizer — Our Lady of Mount Carmel church — has been forced to actively recruit lifters for the first time in the feast’s history.

Organizers point to the dwindling number of Italian families in the neighborhood, and the rise of gentrification.

If you want to help the cause and lend a lifting hand, contact the church here.

The giglio will be hoisted and lugged down North Eighth and Havemeyer Streets to North Tenth Street at about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 14.

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