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Columbus Day Parade names 2008 honorees

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The 2008 Bronx Columbus Day Parade is shaping up to be the best yet, keeping the classic vibe but including many new activities and appeals.

The parade, entering its 32nd year, takes place Sunday October 12th, in Morris Park, beginning on White Plains Road and Morris Park Avenue and extending to Williamsbridge Road and Lydig Avenue.

The grand marshal this year will be Steve Squitieri, long time active member of the community. Squitieri owns an ambulette company and sanitation salvage

corporation; running over 145 vehicles per day helping to the keep the community in such great shape.

“It’s really an honor. It feels good because I grew up here,” reflected Squitieri, who has put great effort into giving all he can back to the Bronx through charitable work for children and seniors, as well as numerous fundraisers.

Two honorary grand marshals were also selected, including Jerry Longarzo, assistant principal of P.S. 105. “It’s an extreme honor to be selected, I have been serving at P.S. 105 for over 30 years. I think the parade is going to be marvelous, full of enthusiasm and hopefully good weather.”

Also chosen was Mary Vele King, assistant principal of P.S. 108.

“They were chosen because of what they do for the community, for our children,” explained Tony Signorile, volunteer and chairman of the Bronx Columbus Day Parade board, “they provide them with education and guide them.”

The parade will continue, as in previous years, from 12:30 p.m. till about 3:30 p.m., featuring over 15 schools, over 10 marching bands and a variety of floats and banners.

The Bronx Columbus Day committee has also organized the first ever Columbus Day concert following the parade from 5:30 till 9:30 p.m., in Loreto Park, featuring the Bronx Wonders.

The concert provides an array of music, from classic Italian to modern hits, hoping to draw in and capture the attention of audiences both young and old.

“The reason I am doing this is to bring back old residents that lived in this community,” stated Signorile, “to bring them back to their native roots and keep the community alive.”

“We need to enjoy and cherish what we have to teach the new generations the value of our heritage, so then it can be passed down to their children someday,” Signorile said.

In addition that board is also trying to get neighborhood restaurants to coordinate with the parade by offering late-lunch specials from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., giving people a place to eat after the parade and before the concert.

It is hoped that the Bronx Columbus Day Parade will be an all-day enjoyable experience for attendees.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group