By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Thirteenth Avenue, the main shopping strip of Dyker Heights, will be the setting for a patriotic parade on June 29. The 108th Annual American Independence Day Parade will be held on 13th Avenue starting at noon. The march is sponsored by the Long Island Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization. Dozens of Knights of Columbus councils are expected to participate. The event is presented with the cooperation of the 13th Avenue Merchants Association.
The parade route runs along the avenue from 71st Street to 86th Street. Following the march, a post-parade reception will take place in the Knights of Columbus Archbishop John Hughes Council at 1305 86th Street.
The event will commemorate the 237th birthday of the US. The march will also salute the nation’s Armed Forces, according to Ted General, a member of the organizing committee.
This year's grand marshal is US Marine Corps veteran Rick Kenney. The Rev. Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, director of development for the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, will receive the Pro-Patria award from the Knights of Columbus. The award is given to an individual who exemplifies patriotism.
The renowned Italian Giglio Brass Band, famous for entertaining at the annual Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, is among the bands participating in the Independence Day Parade. Spectators will also see bagpipe bands, color guards, Boy and Girl Scout troops, classic cars, and veteran and youth groups.
Organized in 1905, the march is the oldest, continuous Independence Day Parade in New York City, according to General. For over 100 years, it was actually held on July 4. But in recent years, it was moved to the Saturday before July 4. This was done to encourage better spectator turnout and to increase the availability of marching groups.