Tag Archives: italian culture

Italians Celebrate Fashion and Culture on Columbus Day on 5th Avenue

17 Oct
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Let’s Get This Party Started

     The trifecta of parade weekend culminated in the largest celebration of Italian culture in the world right on 5th Avenue. The picture perfect day saw nearly a million people lined up on the parade route anxiously awaiting the start of the parade. Celebrating its 75th anniversary, parade organizers, the Columbus Citizens Foundation pulled out all the stops to make this a first class event. This year Grand Marshall Massimo Ferragamo was honored for his contribution to high fashion. Local news anchor Rosanna Scotto was an honoree of the amazing event.  As usual, the mounted police signal the start of the parade.

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Grand Marshall Massimo Ferragamo

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Tribute to Columbus

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Baton Twirlers from Italy

     Honorary lead marching band was Northern University playing some Italian theme tunes to get the crowd ready for a festive day of everything Italian. Sacred Heart University was right behind them. A parade of Maserati’s with the Grand Marshall and Honorees was well received. Italians have always been a religious people and home to the Vatican and where early Christianity thrived. Controversy did not escape this years parade as NY Mayor diBlasio called for more female statues to be erected throughout the city and omitted the beloved Mother Cabrini, even though she captured the most votes. Under immense pressure from the Italian community and Catholic Church to reconsider his decision, the mayor promised to rethink it….good idea.

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Marching Bands Ruled the Day

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Mother Cabrini Makes Her Appearance

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Trumpet Band from Bergamo

     Revelers were given a special treat when two Italian bands struck up some nice tunes. A coastal town from Castellammare di stabia sent a band that got the crowd thinking about home. Blowing the horns off in magnificent fashion were a band from Bergamo, Italy. They put a whole new meaning to fast tempo as it was a challenge to keep up with their fast pace. A variety of High School marching bands kept the high energy going. Perennial favorite Connetquot HS Marching Band always puts on a great show. Matching their intensity was the W. Tresper Clarke Marching Band. One band of note from East Meadow had a sharp drumline.  All in all is was a grand celebration of Italian culture and contribution. Like my Italian friends say…there’s only two kinda people…Italians and those that want to be Italians.

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Long Live Italy!!!!

Italians Heritage Proudly on Display at Columbus Day Parade on 5th Avenue

10 Oct
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Italian Pride and Heritage on Display

     The third leg of the big parade weekend brought me back to 5th Avenue where hundreds of thousands of revelers lined up the parade route for the start of the 74th annual Columbus Day Parade. Parade sponsors, Columbus Citizens Foundation, always put on a great event by bringing in guests from Italy, several quality local marching bands, and plenty of floats bouncing to the beat of some traditional Italian songs. Events that take place during the year help raise scholarship funds for college bound students of Italian American heritage.  The crowd was getting restless as the 11am kickoff was delayed.

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Proud Italian American

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You Go Girl

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Marni Having Some Fun

     As usual, the mounted police signaled the start of the parade and the crowd cheered loudly while the first group marched up the parade route from 37th St. to 72nd St. All the marchers passed right by St. Patrick’s Cathedral where Cardinal Timothy Dolan greeted them. This being a gubernatorial election year, both candidates marched. Incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo got the biggest applause from all the politicians. Gov. Cuomo was especially happy to take part of the event as his Italian American heritage was proudly displayed.  His opponent, Marcus Molinaro received a polite applause.  Grand Marshall, Guy Chiarello, First Data President, greeted the crowd.  Once all the parade VIPs, dignitaries and politicians made their way up the parade route, then the fun began.

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Italian Secret Service

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Cars in Italian Flag Colors 

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Flag bearers doing their thing 

     One of the best marching bands to make their way up the parade route was W. Tresper Clark HS Marching Band. They were amazing. Some of the local bands came from East Meadow HS and West Islip HS Marching Bands. Everyone was treated to a special show when Majorettes from Casperia in Italy and twirlers and marching band from Sacred Heart combined forces. Some other notable bands were the Connetquot Thunderbirds  from Bohemia NY and the North Hunterdon Golden Lions from New Jersey represented very well.

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Italian Masons Going for a Walk

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Horn Section Going At it

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High Stepping It Up 5th Avenue

 

     There were plenty of great uniforms and bands. All throughout the parade route, people were happy and proud to wave their red white and green flags in one of the bigger parades on 5th Avenue. It was great to see the zest for life that Italians are well known for. Everyone there was Italian…some forever…some for one day.

 

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