Over 50,000 firecrackers were detonated in rapid fire in front of the outdoor stage strung across Eighth Avenue at 50th Street in Sunset Park. It was all part of the 31st annual Chinese Lunar New Year’s Parade and commemoration, on Sunday, February 18. The festivities also included the release of hundreds of predominantly red and yellow balloons.
Prior to the start of the parade, groups from local public schools, pre-Ks and nursery schools affiliated with the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association performed on the stage. Then the celebrants assembled and marched along Eighth Avenue to 60th Street.
Among the elected officials bringing their greetings was United States Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. Association President and parade founder Paul Mak introduced the Brooklyn senator as next year’s new “Senate Majority Leader.”
Other officials included New York State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblymember Peter Abbate, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, City Councilmember Kalman Yeger, NYPD Brooklyn South Commander Steven Powers and Deputy Chief Chuck Scholl, and Community Education Council District 20 member and Community Board 11 member Iwen Chu.
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On February 14, the PTA of P.S./I.S. 104 held its annual International Brotherhood Tea with this correspondent as the 2018 award recipient. The program included a splendid performance by class 2-112 directed by teacher Aisse Silverman,which highlighted the true meaning of brotherhood, sisterhood and respect for all.
Also part of the ceremonies was the intricate, precision marching and presentation of the Colors, and the Pledge of Allegiance by the school color guard under the guidance of teacher Mary Donnelly.
My deep appreciation to several friends who attended on my behalf. From the Bay Ridge Community Council Ralph and Joanna Succar, Janet Gounis, Bob Kassenbrock, and Peter and Patricia Killen; former City Council Deputy Leader Vincent Gentile; Fort Hamilton Garrison Commander Colonel Peter Sicoli; United Military Veterans President Ray Aalbue, School District 20 official Bill Chin; June Johnson; Harold Egeln and, of course, Principal Marie DeBella.