It was a cause for celebration as the Federation of Italian Americans (FIAO) geared up for its 36th Annual Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade – to be held on Saturday, October 7 – at the yearly Brooklyn Columbus Day Brunch.
The gathering – held this year on Sunday, October 1 at Sirico’s, 8023 13th Avenue – also served as a platform to honor a new class of grand marshals, including Councilmember Mark Treyger, Deputy Inspector Anthony Sanseverino, Nick Pesce of LaBella Market Place and P.S./I.S. 209 Principal Francesca Novella LoCurcio, as well as to raise funds for the family-friendly tradition.
Jack Spatola, chairperson of FIAO, has noted in the past that the parade and brunch provide, “not only a celebration of culture, but also an opportunity for us to recognize very outstanding exponents of the community who also happen to be Italian-American. All are incredible role models, inspirational for all of us and particularly younger people.
“Everybody is looking forward to a beautiful day,” noted Spatola, who said the event was all about, “having a good time with good people around.” Of particular note, he stressed, is the local nature of the event. “We are lucky to have truly a community activity. It’s great to keep the community alive with very positive and rewarding festivities.”
The pre-parade mass will be celebrated at St. Athanasius Church, 2154 61st Street, at 10:15 a.m. The parade will follow, kicking off at noon at the corner of 60th Street and 18th Avenue. It will end at Benson Avenue and 18th Avenue, at FIAO’s Il Centro Community Center.