This coming Saturday (6/28), the 109th annual American Independence Day Parade will be held along upper 13th Avenue, from 71st to 86th Street, kicking off at 11 a.m.The red, white and blue patriotic extravaganza which commemorates the 238th birthday of America, and salutes our nation’s armed forces, will be led by Grand Marshal Anthony VescoAlso marching with the grand marshal and parade officials will be Louis PepeLast year, this prestigious award was presentedto Monsignor Jamie GigantielloLeo Zefferetti and Guy MolinariThomas BartosiewiczChristopher Mega and Marty Golden. The parade once again enjoys the close cooperation of the 13th Avenue Merchants Association.The borough-wide parade — which will open with the roar of motorcycles from several veteran biker groups — will include a United Armed Forces Color Guard, fire trucks, Pipe and Drum Corps, Wounded Warriors, classic cars, and Boy and Girl Scout units.One of the highlights of the march will be the performance of the Italian Giglio Feast Band which usually plays on a heavy platform with the 70-foot statue that 100-burly men carry through the streets of Williamsburg during the Giglio festival in July.Show your pride and just how proud you are to be an American by either joining the marchers or cheering them from the sidelines! * * *Maestro Jeff Samaha and his production company held a superb al fresco and free performance of the Broadway play Smokey Joe’s Cafe at the top of the hill in Owl’s Head Park, this past Sunday afternoon. City Councilmember Vinnie Gentile help provide the funding for the event, which took place on the overlook terrace, once the site of the Bliss observation tower and horse stable. Many area old timers, also refer to it a as the Bliss castle.Ably assisting Samaha was his executive producer, Karen TadrossPopping on my amateur historian cap, my research tells me, Owl’s Head Park was first the palatial country estate of former City of Brooklyn Mayor Henry MurphyEliphalet W. Bliss.After his death, the Bliss estate was sold to the city with the stipulation it become a public park.Since it is situated on a high portion of the glacial moraine, you get one heck of a panorama view ofthe Narrows, Staten Island and New Jersey!It’s the highest geographic point in Bay Ridge. * * *Brooklyn Historian Bob Furman spoke about the importance of Red Hooks Fort Defiance during his talk on the Battle of Brooklyn, the first major battle between the Union Army and the British red coats, at the June meeting of the Bay Ridge Historical Society. * * *A virtual bouquet of roses and our hearty congratulations to Sister Fran Picone who just retired as the director of services for older adults for Lutheran Health Care Centers.
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