By John Lynds
It’s East Boston’s turn to host the annual Columbus Day Parade, a yearly tradition of Italian American Pride that is split between here and the North End every other year.
This year’s parade will kick off from Suffolk Downs and wind its way down Bennington Street to Chelsea Street then onto Meridian Street–ending in near Central Square.
“East Boston hosts the parade on even years and since 2010, every year this neighborhood has hosted the parade it has become better, bigger, brighter and more exciting,” said parade organizer and this year’s Chief Marshal Joseph Ruggiero. “This year’s parade will celebrate East Boston’s support of first responders, our Italian American heritage, our Latin American culture and the neighborhood’s rich diversity.”
Ruggiero said as in years’ past there will be great marching bands, dance numbers and a wave of celebratory floats.
Ruggiero added that the parade would never be possible without General Chairman Albert “Buddy” Mangini’s passion for organizing the event.
“Buddy and the committee have planned a great event,” said Ruggiero. “If it wasn’t for people like Buddy, George Gambale, Rosalie Petralia and all the volunteers that helped all year with fundraisers and events this event, would never be possible.”
The parade honoring Christopher Columbus on the anniversary of his arrival in the Americas is always a festive occasion with the bands, floats, and local dignitaries making it a “must-see” attraction for people of all ages.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will again serve as the Honorary Chief Marshal of this year’s parade as he did in 2014.