Columbus Citizens Foundation Announces Columbus Day Parade Line-Up and Performers for Largest Celebration of Italian-American Culture on Monday, October 9

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Barnes & Noble Inc. Founder & Chairman Leonard Riggio Serves as Grand Marshal of Annual March and Will Lead the Parade with over 100 Authors including: Gay Talese; Adriana Trigiani; David Baldacci; Lorenzo Caracaterra and Danny Aiello

We hope that all New Yorkers will join us in celebrating the Italian-American culture and our community’s many achievements.

On Monday, October 9th, the 73rd Annual Columbus Day Parade will be held in New York City. The parade celebrates Italian-American heritage, culture and achievements with over 35,000 participants and over one million spectators. For the first time, the Parade will have the theme, “A Celebration of Italian-American Authors.” The theme was created by 2017 Grand Marshal, Leonard Riggio, Founder and Chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc., who will be leading the Parade with over 100 Italian-American authors.

The Parade will run north up Fifth Avenue, from 47th to 72nd Street from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Our 2017 Honorees Dr. Laura Forese, EVP and COO, New York-Presbyterian and Thomas Iovino, founder of Judlau Enterprises, will join Riggio in leading the celebration.

The Columbus Day Parade in New York City is organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the celebration of Italian heritage and the creation of opportunities for younger Italian Americans, provided through their scholarship program which provides assistance to over 700 students annually.

The 73rd Columbus Day Parade is broadcast live on WABC-TV from 12 PM to 3 PM. Renowned broadcast journalist Maria Bartiromo and actor and radio host Joe Piscopo will host the broadcast, serving as Masters of Ceremonies for the largest Columbus Day Parade held in the United States. Viewers on Fifth Avenue and watching on WABC-TV can expect to see over 100 marching groups, 25 parade floats, 35 vehicles and over 15 marching bands.

Angelo Vivolo, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, said of this year’s event: “As always, the Columbus Day Parade is a celebration of Italian-Americans and their contributions to America – and we are thrilled with the impact our Grand Marshal Len Riggio is making by highlighting Italian-American contributions to the world of books and literature. Each year, the Parade honors a people that transitioned from their European ancestry to be the seventh largest ethnic group in America. We hope that all New Yorkers will join us in celebrating the Italian-American culture and our community’s many achievements.”

There will be a wide variety of red carpet performances including: 2014 “Italian Voice” winner Sister Cristina; “America’s Got Talent” 2017 Semi-finalist Christian Guardino; Carnegie Hall performer Francesca Capetta; “The Voice of Romance” Franco Corso and “The Italian Fairy” Simona Rodano, who will provide family fun for viewers. Other confirmed acts include: pop performer Alyssa Lynn; fan favorite Angelo Venuto; girl group The Sirens; and a number from the new off-Broadway show “This One’s For the Girls.” West Point Academy’s Military Band will kick off the parade’s red carpet performances in traditional fashion with a performance of “The Flag Still Flies High.”

The impact of Italy will be felt throughout the parade, as the Line of March will include a kick off with several exotic Alfa Romeos. The Parade will also include Italian delegations from Abruzzo, Sicily, Umbria, and Frosinone.

Spectators will continue to feel the culture and traditions of Italy come alive on Fifth Avenue as they see the L’Arte del Gelato truck, Italian marching band “Citta di Castellammare Del Golfo”; a spectacular costumed processional march of a traditional Quintana from Umbria and actor/director Massimiliano Finazzer Flory in costume as renowned Italian musician Giuseppe Verdi.

The Columbus Day Parade is the culmination of a series of events to celebrate Columbus Day including: an official sashing of our Grand Marshal and Honorees at Eataly Downtown on Tuesday, October 3; a black-tie Gala held at the New York Hilton on Saturday, October 7 and a ceremonial wreath-laying held in conjunction with the National Council of Columbian Associations in New York on Sunday, October 8 in Columbus Circle.

EVENT: 73rd Annual Columbus Day Parade
WHEN: Monday, October 9th, 11:20 AM to 3 PM
WHERE: Fifth Avenue, from 47th to 72nd Street, New York, NY
LIVE INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES WITH CCF PRESIDENT ANGELO VIVOLO, GRAND MARSHAL LEONARD RIGGIO AND HONOREES
DR. LAURA FORESE & THOMAS IOVINO
October 9, 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EST
5th Avenue and 47th Street

For a Press Pass, or to schedule an interview in advance, contact:
Jefferson Wilson at jwilson(at)columbuscitizens(dot)org
(212) 249 9923, ext 242

About the Columbus Citizens Foundation
The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929. For more information, contact jwilson(at)columbuscitizens(dot)org

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Jefferson Wilson
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