Tag Archives: Howard Beach Columbus Day Parade

PHOTOS: Italian pride on display at Howard Beach Columbus Day Parade

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Cross Bay Boulevard was awash in red, white and green on Sunday in celebration of the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation’s 10th Columbus Day Parade.

The parade kicked off on the corner of 156th Avenue and made its way southbound on the boulevard in a colorful procession of floats and fanfare.

This year’s grand marshal was Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, the pastor of St. Bernard’s parish in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn. Deputy Commissioner of Sanitation Rocco DiRico and NYPD Inspector John Corbisiero shared the honor and title of the parade’s deputy grand marshals. Other honorees included Salvatore Armao, a local certified public accountant and Italian-American Businessperson of the Year.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz marched in the parade along side City Councilman Eric Ulrich, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, Community Board 10 Chair Elizabeth Braton and state Senator Joseph Addabbo, who was accompanied by his two daughters Alexis and Arianna.


Grand Marshal Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello (center) of St. Bernard’s parish in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, kicked off the parade with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Gigantiello and his fellow honorees celebrated the official start of the parade with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. An honor guard from the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, along with the NYPD marching band and Emerald Society bag pipers, led the parade. The procession that followed included an array of marching bands and contingents from Franklin K. Lane, St. Francis Preparatory, Christ the King Regional and All City high schools.

A group of young students from St. Helen’s Catholic Academy carried a large Italian flag banner and wore special red, green and white beaded necklaces. They were joined by scouts from St. Helen’s Troop 139, American Softball League, students from Mantra MMA, and team members and parents from the Ozone Howard Little League.


Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation

Fraternal organizations such as the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), UNICO National, Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach and the South Ozone Park Council of the Knights of Columbus also joined in the festivities.

Colorful floats outfitted in gold and white streamers from local businesses and the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation carried a host of lively DJs, dancers and revelers.

Parade spectators of all ages waved Italian flags and danced to both traditional and modern versions of Italian songs played from passing floats. Pope Francis even made an appearance in the form of cardboard cut-outs and souvenirs from the recent papal visit.


Howard Beach’s Columbus Day Parade back and better than ever

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Maggie Hayes

Last year, Sandy stopped the always-anticipated Howard Beach Columbus Day Parade. But this year, the event came back bigger and better.

“We were ecstatic,” said Frank Gulluscio, the area’s Democratic District Leader. “Besides celebrating the Italian culture, it was the fact that the community came back, the fact that we were out there in full force.”

Honorees Al Perna, Luigi Moccia, JoAnn Ariola, Peter Vallone, Jr. and Melinda Katz proudly donned their “Grand Marshal” sashes and waved to the crowd of hundreds as they made their way down Cross Bay Boulevard.

“The recovery has been duly noted that people are back,” Gulluscio said. “It’s an enormous day for the community and all the organizations that took part in it.”

The parade brought in dozens of participants from the Howard Beach and Rockaway neighborhoods as well as the rest of the borough. Marching bands from schools such as Beach Channel High School and

Christ the King played as they processed down the boulevard, as did bagpipe players from various city organizations.

“That’s what this parade has become. It’s not just our community, it’s about the entire area,” Gulluscio said. “It has become nurturing all of the other cultures that live within New York City.”


Local girl scout troops joined the fun, as did the Hamilton Beach Fire Department, local ambulance corps, the Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach and various local businesses.

The energy as groups and floats made their way down Cross Bay from 157th Avenue was apparent. Local officials State Senator Joseph Addabbo, City Councilmember Eric Ulrich and Assemblymember Philip Goldfeder came out to join the celebration as well.

“The fact that we’ve endured the whole recovery process shows the strength of the community,” Gulluscio said. “Howard Beach is here.”

Howard Beach Columbus Day Parade postponed

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

The Howard Beach Columbus Day Parade has been postponed with a date to be announced at a later time, an organizer said.

Mario Faulisi, head of Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation Inc., said the organization is working on a date for the parade and hopes it continues on.

“There’s a lot of hard work that goes into this and we want it to keep going,” he said.

The foundation will still hold its annual dinner dance on Tuesday, October 23, at Russo’s on the Bay starting at 6:30 p.m. The honorees include the Reverend Ronald Marino, Cavalier Tony DiPiazza, Jack Lasalla and Louis Grochi.