Brooklynites will celebrate our nation’s birthday this year with the 110th annual Independence Day Parade in Dyker Heights on the Saturday immediately before the Fourth of July.
Sponsored by the Long Island Assembly #703, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, New York’s oldest Independence Day parade will kick off at noon on Saturday, June 27 at 13th Avenue and 71st Street.
Approximately 400 marchers from different parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island will participate in the parade, and the FDNY and NYPD and a host of local organizations will all be represented. Antique cars and motorcycle clubs will also be involved.
The parade has always been in Brooklyn, but it changes locations every few years to keep the parade diverse.
“Ever since the parade has been up here, we’re very happy to support it,” said Fran Vella-Marrone, president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, who will be riding the parade route in a limousine with her organization’s banner. “I think Dyker Heights is the perfect community to celebrate America’s birthday in.”
A group of students from a local karate school will put on an exhibition and a children’s dance group will also perform at the end of the parade.
The marchers will continue up 13th Avenue until 86th Street, where the parade will conclude at the Archbishop John Hughes Council #481. At the end of the parade, everyone is welcome to enjoy hot dogs and other refreshments and to watch a USO Show Troupe performing songs that were popular during World War II.
During the borough’s celebration of America’s 239th birthday, the Knights of Columbus will be honoring Past Color Corp Commander John “Moe” Maloney as grand marshal. The organization, which aims to foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large, will also be giving awards to Richard Oakes and Kenneth Latham Jr. for their outstanding charity and fundraising work.
“I like the challenge of leadership,” said Jimmy Geritano, parade chairperson and faithful navigator of the Fourth Degree. “When we reach John Hughes and everything is done, we look back at it and say, ‘Yeah, we did it again this year.’”