It was another successful day and huge turnout for one of the community’s biggest events, the 48th annual Ragamuffin Parade. Children from all over the borough donned their favorite costumes to march in the parade or just watch the activities. Local school marching bands participated, along with police officers riding on horses, vintage cars and more, as merchants, residents and local dignitaries turned out on the sidelines to watch. However, the day was all about the children.
“I just think the Bay Ridge community is about celebrating our kids,” said Bay Ridgeite Risa Novikoff. “As a teacher, I know a lot of the children who are here and it brings back memories of my own children and all the effort that went into making costumes. My whole life has been about celebrating children. I want to support them.”
This year, superhero costumes were popular, from Spider-Man to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Characters from the movie “Frozen” were also a popular choice this year. Kids loved discovering the different types.
“I like the costumes. They’re very creative. I like this guy who dressed up as a table,” said youngster Bryan Bencivenga.
“I like seeing the people playing in the band,” added his sister Chloe.
“It’s been great. We love it. We come every year and we do the festival every year,” said their father Peter.
The storied parade, led by this year’s Grand Marshal, Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello and Arlene Rutuelo, the 2014 Ragamuffin Person of the Year, is not just for locals. People from all the country traveled to take part in the festivities.
“I grew up in this neighborhood and haven’t been back in a long time,” said Don H. who came from Florida.
“We are enjoying it. We don’t have things like this where we live,” added his wife Carol.
Parents also enjoy passing on the tradition to their children. “It’s nice that all the schools get together and everybody has a nice spirit,” said Donna McLeer. “It’s been happening since I was a kid. I marched in the parade. It’s been great they still have it going.”
“It is tradition,” said parent Christine D. “I want to bring it to my daughter. I’ve been coming for 27 years and she’s been coming for three years.”
The parade ran from 76th Street to 92nd Street and Third Avenue.