The patronal feast of Santa Maria di Merino is one of the most awaited events of the year in Vieste, in Puglia. As always, the festival will culminate on May 9 with the procession of the statue of the Madonna, which will cross the streets of the town and then reach the Shrine of Merino.
Feast of Santa Maria program 2023, Vieste
The festival will begin on May 7 with the official opening and the firing of firecrackers. There will then be a parade of the City of Vieste Band “G. Cariglia” through the streets of the centre, followed by the performance of the Folk group Città di Vieste “La Vesteséne” in the Municipal Gardens. Afterwards, the lights will be turned on in the presence of the Mayor and the Administration and it will be possible to taste the sweet Gargano offered by the IPEOA of Vieste, together with the musical show "JUSTCOOBAND" and the recognition to the artist Bruno Castiglia for the song "Vieste sei Pretty".
On May 8 there will be tours of the town of the Banda Città di Vieste “P. Rinaldi” and “G. Cariglia”, organized respectively by the Motoclub Gargano Vieste and by the musical group Tequila & Montepulciano Band. In the evening, in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, everyone will dance together with a musical show that will range from Abruzzo to the Gargano.
May 9 is the key day of the festival, with the solemn procession of the venerated simulacrum of the Protector Santa Maria di Merino, accompanied by the Archbishop, the capitular priests and all the people of Vieste. After the procession, an open-air Holy Mass will take place in the square of the church of Merino, followed by Holy Masses inside the Church of the Annunziata. The day will end with the return of the Protector Santa Maria di Merino and the lighting of the fireworks at Marina Piccola.
On May 10 there will still be tours of the town of the Banda Città di Vieste “P. Rinaldi”, the performance of the Junior Conturband musical group from Turi (BA) and a choreographic show with the “Rhythms and Ribbons” Majorettes of the Jesus Good Shepherd parish. In the evening, the musical concert "The soul and the world" with Dolcenera on Tour, which will be held in the Rotonda Marina Piccola. The party will end with the fireworks show by the company "Nuova Pirotecnica Padre Pio" of San Severo (FG).
The patronal feast of Santa Maria di Merino is an unmissable opportunity for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the tradition and spirituality of the city of Vieste, where the sacred blends with the typical folklore of Southern Italy. Do not miss!
Here is the program communicated by the organizing committee
RELIGIOUS PROGRAM FESTIVAL OF SANTA MARIA
DAY 30 APRIL
10,00 hours Solemn enthronement of the venerated Simulacrum of the Blessed Virgin of Merino and Holy Mass
The Holy Mass on the morning of April 30 and the novenas will be broadcast by Garganotv Vieste, on HBBTV, on channel 18 (Telesveva) with smart TVs, and in streaming on the Gargano TV App.
Every evening: Hours 19,00 Holy Mass and novena in honor of the Blessed Virgin of Merino
DAY 8 MAY
Hours 11,30 Solemn Capitular Mass. At the end, beg to Our Lady of Pompeii
18,45 hours in the co-cathedral basilica Floral tribute and offer of candles by the Festival Committee, the civic administration and the company "la Garganica"
9 hours – Solemn Pontifical presided over by His Excellency Monsignor Franco Moscone Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo with the most reverend capitular priests.
Hours 21,30 – Solemn descent from the throne, and repositioning in the city sedan chair of the precious and revered simulacrum of the Madonna di Merino. Maximum discretion is recommended AVOIDING TOUCHING THE STATUE IN THE DELICATE PARTS and overcrowding.
HOURS 7,00 solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by Archbishop Mons.Father Franco Moscone.
Hours 8,45 – solemn procession of the venerated simulacrum of the Protector Santa Maria di Merino, accompanied by the Archbishop, the capitular priests and all the people of Vieste. Followed by a triumphal pilgrimage towards the Marian diocesan sanctuary of Merino
Hours 13.00 On the square of the open-air church of Merino Holy Mass celebrated by the Archbishop Father Franco and the Reverend Priests. Possibility to confess. Following Holy Masses inside the Church of the Annunziata.
Hours 22,00 Return of the Protectress Santa Maria di Merino with a solemn procession and lighting of fireworks.
Hours 10,00 Holy Mass in the Co-Cathedral basilica for the repositioning of the Simulacrum of Santa Maria di Merino in its own chapel.
Hours 11,00 Return procession to the church of San Francesco of the simulacrums of Sant'Antonio and San Giuseppe. The procession will be accompanied by the Grand Band Complex: City of Vieste “P. RINALDI”.
CIVIL PROGRAM FESTIVAL OF SANTA MARIA
DAY 7 MAY
Hours 16,30 Opening of the party with firing of firecrackers and tour of the city streets of the City of Vieste Band “G. Cariglia”
Hours 19,30 Exhibition in the Municipal Gardens of the Folk group Città di Vieste "La Vesteséne". The lighting of the lights will follow, by the "artistic lighting company ARTLUX Srl of Paternopoli (AV)", in the presence of the Mayor, and the Administration.
Hours 21,00 ART AND TASTE Municipal Gardens: Gargano dessert festival offered by the IPEOA of Vieste with the collaboration of the Chefs' Association. The musical show "JUSTCOOBAND" will follow with an acknowledgment to the artist Bruno Castiglia ex Gloria of the Gruppo dei Bisonti for having made the devotion to Santa Maria di Merino known to the world through the song Vieste sei Bella.
DAY 8 MAY
Hours 08,00 Tour of the town of the Banda Città di Vieste “P. Rinaldi”.
Hours 15,00 The Motoclub Gargano Vieste organizes "ALL BY BIKE" at the Pizzomunno roundabout, E.Mattei seafront.
Hours 17.30 Tour of the town of Banda Città di Vieste, “G. Cariglia".
Hours 21,30 Piazza Vittorio Emanuele: From Abruzzo to the Gargano to dance all together. Musical show with the Tequila & Montepulciano Band.
DAY 9 MAY
Hours 07,30 Piazza V.Emanuele: City Bands of Vieste “P. RINALDI” and the City of Vieste “G. Cariglia".
19,00 / 21,30 hours Piazza V. Emanuele: City Bands of Vieste “P. RINALDI” and the City of Vieste “G. Cariglia".
Hours 23.00 Return of the Patron Saint Maria di Merino and lighting of the fireworks at Marina Piccola.
DAY 10 MAY
Hours 09,30 Tour of the town of Banda: City of Vieste “P. RINALDI”.
Hours 17,00 Performance in Corso Lorenzo Fazzini of the musical group: JUNIOR CONTURBAND of Turi (BA).
Hours 18,00 Municipal Gardens: choreographic show with the Majorettes " RHYTHMS AND RIBBONS " of the parish Jesus Good Shepherd
Hours 19,30 Municipal Gardens: Folk group City of Vieste "Pizzeche and Muzzeche"
Hours 21,30 Rotonda Marina Piccola musical concert: "The soul and the world" with DOLCENERA ON TOUR
Hours 24,00 Closing of the party with a fireworks display at the tourist port - west pier, organized by the company "Nuova Pirotecnica Padre Pio" of San Severo (FG).