From the Council of Italian-American Societies of Greater Bridgeport:
Frank T. Gennarini of Milford will be introduced as the Parade Grand Marshal of the 2012 Columbus Celebration by the Council of Italian-American Societies of Greater Bridgeport at a special reception January 19th at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn, 1070 Main St.
At the reception from 6-8 pm, Gennarini will officially assume his Parade Grand Marshal duties of the 104th Columbus Day Parade (Oct. 7), making it the oldest running one in the state.
A third-generation Italian-American, Gennarini has a long record of overseeing parades and volunteering in the community. He served as the Parade Grand Marshal twice in 2000 and 2007 for the Barnum Festival and taken part in a total of 15 parades. He has been involved with the Barnum Festival since 1995, and was named the Festival Volunteer of the Year in 1999. He also was twice elected President (2004 & ‘05) of the Festival.
“This is a great honor,” Gennarini said. “I have a great deal of experience putting on parades and enjoy it. This one has a lot of sentimental meaning since I grew up in Bridgeport and many of my relatives still live near the actual parade route. This parade celebrates the spirit of the Italian-American culture that is so strong in this area.”
Gennarini, Vice President of Real Estate for D’Addario Industries and private real estate investor, plans to build on the tradition of the Columbus Day Parade and continue to improve it. He foresees reaching out to new organizations and businesses to join in the Columbus Day celebration as sponsors.
For the 25th consecutive year, the popular Marine Band Concert will take place on two consecutive nights prior to the parade at the Klein Memorial Auditorium as part of the Columbus Day Celebrations.
Ironically, the staging area of the parade route, which starts at Jewett Ave in the North End and runs down Wayne St to Madison Ave., finishing at Central High School, proceeds along former farmland that was owned by Gennarini’s great-grandfather in the early 1930s. Gennarini also grew up in the area where the parade will pass.
Gennarini also acted in The Playhouse on the Green production of “Barnum, The Musical.” He is a graduate of Trumbull High School and Sacred Heart University and has been a volunteer at the Kennedy Center of Bridgeport and the Sterling House of Stratford. He is an active member of Toastmasters International and BACIO, the Bridgeport Area Cultural Italian Organization.
The Council of Italian-American Societies of Greater Bridgeport will sponsor the parade and all the Columbus Day festivities for the 33rd consecutive year. The CIASGB was formed in 1978 to operate exclusively for charitable, literary and education purposes in recognizing the contribution of Italian-Americans to this country. In 1979, CIASGB became the official sponsor of the Columbus Day Parade and the Columbus Day Celebration.