Cheering crowds and children waving American flags lined 13th Avenue in Dyker Heights this past Saturday, June 29, for the annual Independence Day Parade. The Giglio Band from Williamsburg led the celebration at noon as the parade ran from 71st Street to 86th Street.
With the colors of red, white and blue decorating the streets, the 237th birthday of the United States was celebrated by local Brooklynites. The Independence Day Parade also saluted those currently serving in our armed forces, and honored those who have previously served for our country.
Five bands playing classic patriotic tunes along the parade route participated in this year’s celebrations, boosting nationalistic pride. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth groups, various councils of Brooklyn, color guard groups from the armed forces’ branches, veterans groups and many others marched in the parade as well.
It was Dyker Heights’ 108th Independence Day parade, which makes the march the oldest in the city of New York and one of the five oldest in the country. The Long Island Assembly #703, 4th Degree, of the Knights of Columbus, sponsored the event in cooperation with the 13th Avenue Merchants Association.
Ted General, a civic leader here in Brooklyn, said this year’s parade had a great turnout in attendance and was “very successful.”
The grand marshal for the 2013 Independence Day Parade was Richard Kenney, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and multi-committee member. Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, who was made an honorary chaplain by the New York City Police Department for his efforts and work down at Ground Zero on 9/11, was the 2013 Pro Patria Award recipient.
The post-parade ceremony that honored these two outstanding individuals with plaques was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall of Archbishop John Hughes Council #481, on the corner of 86th Street and 13th Avenue. Also honored at the presentation were the Bravo Volunteer Ambulance Services and CERT 1 NYC, the community emergency response team for Community Boards 10 and 11.
Next year’s Dyker Heights Independence Day Parade will take place on Saturday, June 28, 2014.