The oldest Independence Day Parade in New York City is moving from Dyker Heights to Carroll Gardens.
The parade – sponsored annually by the Knights of Columbus – has marched for the last few years along 13th Avenue from 71st Street to 86th Street. This year, however, the procession will begin at the corner of Bergen Street and Court Street, head down Court Street and end at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary & St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church, according to Parade Chairperson Vincent “Jimmy” Geritano.
“What we do in the Knights of Columbus is, every couple of years, we like to change the location, just to give some different neighborhoods the opportunity to see the parade and join in,” he told this paper. “It’s been up on 13th Avenue for a while now, so we figure it’s time to change it up a bit and bring it downtown.”
According to Geritano, the parade will be preceded by a 10 a.m. mass at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church.
“We have, so far, about four bands that are going to participate as well as a group of motorcycles and antique cars,” said Geritano, noting that the parade was moved to Carroll Gardens specifically at the request of many merchants, including longtime Knights supporter Vince Mazzone, owner of Mazzone Hardware. “We’re also going to have a USO performance right on the steps of Sacred Heart so that everybody can see the show.”
Still, residents of Dyker Heights can’t help but mourn the loss of the tried-and-true event.
“Obviously I’m said that it’s going to be leaving 13th Avenue,” said Dyker Heights Civic Association President Fran Vella-Marrone, “but I assume that the Knights have their reasons. I wish them great success, I just wish that success could stay over here in Dyker Heights.”
The 110th Annual Independence Day Parade will kick off on Saturday, June 25 at 12 p.m.
“If the weather holds up and we have a nice day, I think we’re going to have a nice deal,” said Geritano.