Italian heritage on display at city’s Columbus march

Heralded as the world’s largest celebration of Italian heritage, New York City’s 79th annual Columbus Day Parade stepped off Oct. 9 from 44th Street and trekked along Fifth Avenue to 72nd Street.

The grand marshal was Beth Paretta, CEO and founder of Paretta Autosport, and the colorful march was sponsored by the Columbus Citizens Foundation.

Two prominent honorees were former New York State Chief Justice Janet DiFiore and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Miss New York USA Rachelle di Stasio.

The NYPD Marching Band led the parade. Riding in a convertible was Miss New York USA Rachelle di Stasio.

While Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams marched, missing in action were city Comptroller Brad Lander, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.

The Columbus Citizens Foundation float.

Hochul said at the parade that one in 10 New Yorkers identify with some Italian lineage.

It was a welcome relief from the heavy rains we have been getting. So nice, a brilliant picture perfect day!

This year marked the 531st anniversary of the Italian explorer’s discovery of the New World in 1492. However, it was acknowledged that indigenous people were the first inhabitants here.


Bishop Robert Brennan, head of the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese, recently announced the naming of Rev. Peter Purpura, pastor of Our Lady of Hope, as one of the diocese’s new regional vicars. The padre will now provide leadership to 45 Queens churches. His father Peter Sr. has to be beaming with pride. The senior Purpura grew up in Bay Ridge and is well remembered for his Bay Ridge Travel Agency. Both he and his son were parishioners at Our Lady of Angels Church.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.