Brooklynites celebrated Italian heritage Saturday at the annual Columbus Day Parade on 18th Avenue.
The march, sponsored by the Federation of Italian-American Organizations, included elected officials, school bands, the NYPD, Boy Scouts of America and many others.
The march began on 61st Street and ended at Il Centro on Benson Avenue. Msgr. David Cassato celebrated a pre-parade Mass at St. Athanasius Church, 6115 Bay Pkwy.
Grand marshals included First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo, P.S. 112 Principal Jennifer Potter, retired U.S. Army Col. Patrick Mahaney and Empire State Bank CEO Philip Guarnieri.
Jack Spatola, FIAO president and parade executive chair, said the event was a celebration of diverse cultures.
“In a diverse society, our Italian cultural heritage is treasured as a keeper of pride and integrity,” Spatola told this paper. “The parade is an expression of the thousands of families, groups, institutions, bands and floats that participate. It also inspires the thousands of spectators who enthusiastically cheer the colorful display of pride in the wonderful diversity of Brooklyn.”
“Once again the great community spirit of Bensonhurst, from its schools to its community organizations, Italian folk dances, great renditions of Italian music and Chinese dragon dances made this celebration of Columbus Day and Italian-American culture a true success,” said FIAO Chairman Carlo Scissura.
Eagle Urban Media/photos by Ted General