This past Saturday afternoon, upper 13th Avenue, also known as Dyker Heights Boulevard, was the site of New York City’s oldest American Independence Day Parade. It was the 108th annual edition of the patriotic marchhailing the 237th birthday of America and saluting the men and women of our nation’s armed services.The stars and stripesevent sponsored by the Brooklyn-based Long Island Assembly of the Knights of Columbus in cooperation with the 13th Avenue Merchants Association ran along the boulevard from 71st to 86th Street.Participants included three military color guards, several veterans groups, the USO Show Troupe,antique autos,a Pan American musical contingent, the Gerritsen Beach marching band, Miss Brooklyn and Miss Teenage Brooklyn,a bagpipe band, Girl Scout troops, George and Martha Washington re-enactors,and various K of C Councils.In addition to their banner, the Joseph Cavallaro Council based in Bensonhurst had a small piece of steel from the World Trade Center displayed atop a 9-11 memorial banner draped over the hood of their vehicle.One of the featured bands was the famous brass ensemble, the Giglio Feast Band led by Danny VecchianoEach year, his band provides the music and fanfare for Williamsburg’s Mount Carmel Church parish where theyhave been celebrating the Italian Feast of the Giglio and St. Paulinus since 1903.As part of the celebration, an 80-foot structure, weighing three tons — which includes the towering statue, and the brass ensemble standing on a platform — is lifted by about 130 strong-armed men. It is then danced and paraded through the streets of Williamsburg.Among the elected officials we spotted in the parade were State Senator Marty GoldenMichael GrimmPeter Abbate and City Councilmembers Vinnie Gentile and Domenic RecchiaJohn Quaglione and Democratic Brooklyn Borough President candidate John GangemiPost-parade ceremonies were held inside the Archbishop John Hughes Council Knights’ Building at the corner of 86th Street and 13th Avenue. Tony VescoLloyd Adonicam, who heads the Long Island Assembly, presented the Pro Patria Award to Monsignor Jamie GigantielloRick Kenney.He also presented Father Brogan community service awards to BRAVO, the Bay Ridge Ambulance Volunteer Organization, accepted by BRAVO President Gene AndersenJanet General.According to local historian Dr. Christian Zaino * * *The Riders Alliance recently held a press conference on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall requesting the MTA to come up with an alternative plan better to accommodate the thousands of R and G train subway riders that will be seriously inconvenienced especially during their daily commutewhilemajor repairs take place to the tunnels servicingthe R and G lines.The MTA estimates in the case of the R line tunnel, it will be out for 14 months!In a letter to MTA Chairperson Tom Prendergast and Mayor Mike BloombergMarty Markowitzare offering a suggested 12-point platform to help alleviate the anticipated overcrowding, congestion and inconvenience.That same day, later in the evening, there was a reception at the Greenhouse Café on Third Avenue hosted by Riders Alliance organizer Rebecca Bailinand other members,todiscuss further initiatives, as well as bringing back the B37 Third Avenue bus line.———————————————————————————— To reach Ted General via the Internet, his e-mail address is:General@Journalist.com
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