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Look | Italian-American Pride At The Columbus Day Parade

Monday, October 10, 2011

To a techno soundtrack, Italian pride on Fifth Avenue. To a techno soundtrack, Italian pride on Fifth Avenue. (Marlon Bishop/WNYC)

For most, Columbus Day is just day off from work or school. But for Italian-Americans, it's the day where they get to strut their stuff.

In the mid-1800s, Columbus Day was established as a holiday, in part, to recognize the contributions of Italian-American, who at that time were a marginalized immigrant group. Since then, the annual New York parade has become the world's biggest celebration of Italian culture, with 35,000 people marching in the parade alone.

Police, firefighters, politicians, and Italian cultural groups from the tri-state area marched down Fifth Avenue on Monday to soundtrack of local marching bands, techno, and tarantellas. 

Parade-goers showed pride for both Italy and the United States along Fifth Avenue on Monday for the Columbus Day parade.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Parade-goers showed pride for both Italy and the United States along Fifth Avenue on Monday for the Columbus Day parade.
A motorcade of police vehicles from around New York State led off the parade, as per tradition.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
A motorcade of police vehicles from around New York State led off the parade, as per tradition.
A member of the NYPD’s bagpipe corps, the first musical group to head down Fifth Avenue.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
A member of the NYPD’s bagpipe corps, the first musical group to head down Fifth Avenue.
Insurance magnate and philanthropist Joseph Plumeri was the Grand Marshall of the parade this year.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Insurance magnate and philanthropist Joseph Plumeri was the Grand Marshall of the parade this year.
Luxury cars and Italian flags were two items that appeared in large quantities along Fifth Avenue on Monday.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Luxury cars and Italian flags were two items that appeared in large quantities along Fifth Avenue on Monday
An exquisite mustache graces the face of a Columbus Citizens Foundation member.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
An exquisite mustache graces the face of a Columbus Citizens Foundation member.
Every year during the parade, Archbishop Timothy Dolan greets Italian-American parade-goers outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Every year during the parade, Archbishop Timothy Dolan greets Italian-American parade-goers outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
A silver crucifix outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a reminder of the role the Catholic Church plays in for Italian New Yorkers.
A silver crucifix outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a reminder of the role the Catholic Church plays in for Italian New Yorkers.
A marcher in the parade responds to enthusiastic screams in the stands.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
A marcher in the parade responds to enthusiastic screams in the stands.
“Today is about celebrating Christopher Columbus, who was Italian,” said this ten year old, matter-of-factly.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
“Today is about celebrating Christopher Columbus, who was Italian,” said this ten year old, matter-of-factly.
Children playing on the floats.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Children playing on the floats.
Sousaphones from the Stony Brook University marching band boomed down Fifth Avenue.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Sousaphones from the Stony Brook University marching band boomed down Fifth Avenue.
Dancers from an Italian-themed revue writhed to tarantellas.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Dancers from an Italian-themed revue writhed to tarantellas.
Firefighter. Harley rider. Italian-American.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Firefighter. Harley rider. Italian-American.

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Comments [1]

Anonymous from Little Italy

How can people be so blind as to use an person like Columbus who represents genocide for millions as a opportunity to celebrate their culture? There are so many other ways to celebrate Italian culture. This is misguided and disgusting.

Oct. 10 2011 05:57 PM

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