2011-10-05 / Features

Columbus Day Parades Celebrate Italian Heritage

BY CRISTINA GUARINO

On October 10, Columbus Day parades will be taking place throughout the United States. A parade also takes place every year in Astoria, involving residents, elected officials and various organizations from the community.

The parade begins at Kaufman Studios at 36th Street, continues to Steinway, 30th Avenue and Astoria Boulevard ending appropriately at the Columbus Triangle on Astoria Boulevard and 31 Street under the statue of Columbus, himself. Despite its renaming in 1972 for Vincent Iannece, founder of the Federation of Italian American Organizations of Queens, many still affectionately refer to the Triangle by its old name.

The 10th will mark the 32nd consecutive year for our local parade, which is looked forward to every year by both the Italian- American community as well as many others. Another well-known parade takes place in Manhattan, which has been deemed the largest Columbus Day Parade in the country. This year Pia Toscano, of Howard Beach, who was a finalist on American Idol, has been invited to sing at the Manhattan parade.

The Columbus Day Parade tradition is the world’s largest celebration of Italian- American pride. The Columbus Citizens Foundation Web site defines the parade as a celebration of “the spirit of exploration and courage that inspired Christopher Columbus’ 1492 expedition and the important contributions Italian-Americans have made to the United States”.

Howard Beach hosted its own parade on Cross Bay Boulevard on September 29, which included special guests Lucas Prata and Frankie Buglione of the reality show Jerseylicious. Whitestone will host its second annual parade on October 2 at 10 a.m. This year’s grand marshal will be Councilmember Daniel Halloran.

San Francisco was the location of the first parade in 1868. Since then, the practice has spread throughout the country, flooding streets with fluttering red, white and green flags and residents of all ages. The Astoria parade will begin at noon.

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