News release from Columbus weekend organizers:
The 108th Columbus Day Parade, one of the longest continuous parades in the State, and the Quantico Marine Corps Band concerts will culminate three days of celebrating Italian-American culture and heritage. The parade steps off at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 9th in Bridgeport, starting at the corner of Wayne Street and Jewett Avenue and rolling south down Wayne Street to Madison Avenue, finishing at Micalizzi’s Italian Ices Shop. Richard Iannucci is this year’s Parade Chairman and helped to organize more than 75 units that comprise the parade roster.
This year’s parade includes the Quantico Marine Corps Band, the Pyramid Shriner Clowns, the Chester Fife and Drum, the Fairfield Gaelic Pipes and Drums, an Italian marching band direct from New Jersey, more than six floats, including a replica of the Santa Maria with Christopher Columbus at the helm. The 2nd Company Governor’s Horse Guard will take place as well as the Shriners who drive the parade route in their miniature wheels.
Chris Caruso, an officer with the Council of Italian-American Societies of Greater Bridgeport, pointed out the parade continues to grow each year.
“We owe a great deal to Rich Iannucci, our Parade Chairman who put a lot of effort in bringing this parade together,” Caruso said.
From 11:00 am–3:00 pm on the day of the parade, at Micalizzi’s Italian Ice Shop, 712 Madison Avenue (end of the parade route), an Italian Festival will take place, featuring music, Italian food and treats, activities for children such as face painting, walk around magicians, jugglers and more. “We have a great festival in store for the entire family–including a cannoli eating contest. So join us for lots of fun,” Jay Piccirillo, Festival Chairman said.
For the 27th year, the Columbus Day festivities will feature two free Marine Band Concerts. This year, the Quantico Marine Corps Band will perform on Monday, October 10th (at 7pm) and Tuesday, October 11th (at 7pm) in the Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport. There is plenty of free parking at the Klein. Admission is free but tickets are required. Tickets are available at Lupe’s Drug Store, 3129 Main Street, Bridgeport–(203) 374-0600. Concert attendees are asked to bring non-perishable items to the Klein (night of the concerts) for distribution to Veterans in need from the greater Bridgeport community.
The Quantico Marine Corps Band from Quantico Marine Base, Quantico, Virginia is the oldest professional musical ensembles in the Marine Corps and is comprised of a ceremonial and concert band. The Band has performed at many recognized civilian events; including the Super Bowl XLI Pregame Show, the 9/11 Memorials at Carnegie Hall and the Town Arts Theatre, Times Square, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving and Columbus Day Parades in New York City. The Band has also performed at the New York Winter Garden Financial Center overlooking Ground Zero. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert A. Szabo will conduct the concerts.
The 50-member Quantico Marine Corps Band is scheduled to play patriotic favorites, such as John Philip Sousa marches, an Armed Forces Medley, Rock n’ Roll, and Contemporary music. In addition, the Band will perform special symphonic selections.
“We’re very excited about coming back to Bridgeport this year,” the Band Master, MSGT. David J. Wilson said. “We enjoy bringing the Band on tour to celebrate the Bridgeport Columbus Day activities. The citizens are fantastic and we always play before a packed auditorium. The Klein is such a unique venue–a very special opportunity for the Band and concert goers.