Ciao! Brooklyn’s Columbus Day Parade takes place Saturday

The Rev. Michael Louis Gelfant (left), pictured at a Bay Ridge event with John Quaglione, is one of four grand marshals leading the marchers along 18th Avenue for the 32nd Annual Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Brooklyn’s Italian-American community is getting set to march with pride in a salute to Christopher Columbus this weekend.

The 32nd Annual Brooklyn Columbus Day Parade will take place on Saturday, Oct. 12, on 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst, a community that is still home to large numbers of Italian Americans, despite the changing demographics in recent years. Several years ago, the City Council renamed a section of 18th Avenue from 65th Street to 86th Street “Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard” in tribute to the neighborhood's Italian-Americans.

The parade, which often features bands and dancers from Italy, as well as civic organizations, church groups, schools and business leaders from Brooklyn, will begin at 1 p.m. The parade route runs along 18th Avenue from 61st Street to 84th Street.

The event is sponsored every year by the Federation of Italian-American Organizations of Brooklyn, a coalition of dozens of Italian civic and business groups in the borough. The federation's headquarters is located at 7403 18th Ave. The non-profit organization is currently overseeing the construction of a community and recreation center on the corner of 18th and Benson Avenues.

This year’s grand marshals are: the Rev. Michael Louis Gelfant, pastor of Saint Finbar Roman Catholic Church; Josephine Sportella-Giusto, principal of the Academy of Talented Scholars; Luigi Rosabianca of the law firm Rosabianca & Associates; and Lenny Tillman of Lenco Diagnostic Laboratories.

Prior to the parade, a mass will be held at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church on Bay Parkway and 61st Street at 10:15 a.m. A reception will follow in the auditorium of St. Athanasius School. The Rev. Msgr. David L. Cassato will be the celebrant of the mass.



October 10, 2013 - 9:30am



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