Revelers Color Cross Bay Green, White, & Red at Howard Beach Columbus Day Parade

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The green, white, and red flags and bunting on Cross Bay Boulevard last Friday signaled the fast-approaching start of a cherished ColumbusParade1-768x432Howard Beach tradition.

Marshals, revelers, civic leaders, and elected officials last Sunday celebrated Italian-Americans and their heritage at the 10th annual Howard Beach Columbus Day Parade.

The Rev. Msgr. Jamie Gigantello, vicar of development for the Diocese of Brooklyn, served as the 2015 parade grand marshal. The deputy grand marshals were NYPD Inspector John Corbisiero, Sanitation Department deputy commissioner Rocco DiRico, and accountant Salvatore Armao.

Armao is also set to be honored on Oct. 2 as the Italian-American Business Man of the Year at the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation dinner at Russo’s on the Bay.

The weather cooperated on a beautiful Sunday afternoon as elaborate floats and several spirited marching bands sparked smiles along Cross Bay Boulevard from 157th Avenue to 163rd Avenue.

“I love it, I try to make it every year,” gushed Maria Giacalone, an Ozone Park resident who watched with her brother from the corner of 159th Avenue. “It’s always a great time. I’ll definitely be back for next year’s parade.”

PHOTO:  Parade Grand Marshal Msgr. Jamie Gigantello, vicar for Development for the Diocese of Brooklyn, cut the ribbon on Sunday to get the 2015 celebration started. He was joined on 157th Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard by Police Inspector John Corbisiero, deputy grand marshal (from l.); Salvatore Armao, deputy grand marshal; Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder; HB Columbus Day Foundation President Mario Faulisi; Democratic District Leader Frank Gulluscio; Borough President Melinda Katz; Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton; Sanitation Department Deputy Commissioner Rocco DiRico, deputy grand marshal; and HB Columbus Day Foundation Vice President Grace Faulisi.  

Photo credit: Michael V. Cusenza