Taking place in Dyker Heights over the past several years, the Knights of Columbus’s 111th Annual Independence Day Parade marched in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hills for the first time on Saturday, June 25 and it was a day of fun and patriotism for Brooklyn residents.
Following a mass at St. Paul’s Church, the people of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill started to celebrate when the parade stepped off from the corner of Bergen and Court Streets, headed to First Place, and proceeded down to the corner of Summit and Hicks Streets where members of the USO of Metropolitan New York Show Troupe had a patriotic performance on the steps of St. Stephen’s Church.
The parade’s venue change was a big hit, according to Richard Kenney, the parade’s former grand marshal and a grand knight of the KOC. “Any time you move a parade, you always worry about how it’ll be received. But, the neighborhood could not be more supportive,” said Kenney.
Brooklyn families had a lot of fun watching the parade from the sidelines. In addition to the free American flags handed out throughout the parade, people saw Knights of Columbus Color Corps led by a color guard from Fort Hamilton, Girl and Boy Scout troops, a performance from a local dance school, drummers, and two pipe and drum groups. The parade’s energy drew a lot of attention and excitement from Brooklyn residents.
The parade also debuted several vintage cars, including eight different vintage police cars through multiple eras, and a 1967 Chevy convertible with a piece of steel from the World Trade Center resting on its hood.
The parade also took a moment to honor and award two men for their loyalty to both our country and our community. This year’s honoree and winner of the Pro Patria Award was U.S. Army Sergeant Bryan Dilberian, a triple amputee who fought in Afghanistan and is a member of Columbus Council #126 in Gravesend. The Father James Brogan Award for Community Service was given to Deputy Chief Charles Scholl for his tremendous dedication to the Brooklyn community.
The grand marshal this year was Robert Fox, a Dyker Heights resident who is vice chair of the Long Island Conference of the Knights of Columbus, and who has done a lot of charity work that has benefitted our community.
“All in all the awards were well deserved, the people of Brooklyn had a wonderful time, and it was just a perfect day,” said Kenney. “We’ll be back next year, bigger and better.”