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Columbus Day Parade in Bensonhurst • Brooklyn Paper

Columbus Day Parade in Bensonhurst

Leading man: After leading the Raggamuffin Parade in Bay Ridge two weeks ago, Msgr. Jamie J. Gigantiello marches as one of the Columbus Day parade’s grand marshals.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Columbus Day came early in Bensonhurst.

Bensonhursters of varying ethnicities braved the rain on Oct. 11 to celebrate Italian-American heritage during the 33rd Columbus Day Parade — two days before the official holiday.

The procession carried revellers 24 blocks down 18th Avenue — co-named “Cristoforo Columbo Boulevard” for the Italian-born explorer — between 60th and 84th streets.

Everyone’s a little Italian: Bensonhurst residents of all ethnicities celebrated Italian heritage during the blocks-long march.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

And just one head honcho just wasn’t enough for this year’s parade. Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurst), Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), Investors Bank vice president Regina Scire, and the Msgr. Jamie Giganitello all served as Grand marshals for the march.

The yearly parade is sponsored by the Federation of Italian-American Organizations, a nearly 40-year-old umbrella organization that offers social services and community programming for the neighborhood.

After the procession wrapped up, parade-goers hustled over to Il Centro — the Federation’s soon-to-open community center — for a cannoli-eating contest.

Hats of to Columbus: Samantha and Emma Gallo take a break from the parade to show off their festive hats.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeg‌er@cn‌gloca‌l.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.

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