Morris Park Avenue played stage to the 38th annual Bronx Columbus Day Parade on Sunday, October 12.
More than 50 schools, bands and community organizations marched their way up Morris Park Avenue on the sunny afternoon.
“It’s another great day for Morris Park and the community,” said Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association as the marchers gathered on White Plains Road just before noon.
As the groups assembled, the grand marshal, actor Vincent Pastore; honorary grand marshal, Catholic schools superintendent Roseann Carotenuto; and Miss Columbus, Gianna Bianco, climbed in to their respective cars, where they greeted the crowd .
Known for his role on The Sopranos, City Island resident Pastore, said he was glad to be part of preserving Italian heritage in the Bronx.
“It’s an honor to be the grand marshal of the historic Morris Park Columbus Day Parade,” he said.
After attending the parade each year of her childhood, Bianco was excited to participate in the festivities and represent her Italian-American family.
“It’s really crazy to be here” said Bianco. “It’s fun to be a part of it and finally ride in the parade.”
Carotenuto said she was grateful to the parade committee for honoring educators, and that she loved seeing the different schools assembled and ready to march.
“I really feel the community with all of them here,” said Carotenuto.
Cardinal Spellman student Osmailyn Chez agreed.
“It’s cool to see all the schools and activities come together,” said Chez, and added that she was excited to march in the parade for the first time.
But many of the spectators have long been a part of the parade.
Vinny Cantarella said he has been coming to the parade for more than 20 years, and he enjoys how the parade celebrates the neighborhood and Italian pride.
“It’s a nice, wholesome event that brings a lot of people to the community,” said Cantarella.
Another parade-goer, Theresa Lipsett, said she has been bringing her kids to the parade since moving into Morris Park eight years ago. Her daughter enjoys the cheerleaders and her son likes the performers on stilts, while she looks forward to seeing the police and fire departments at the event.
“We all enjoy it together,” said Lipsett.
Christine Lamari Ringler no longer lives in the Bronx, but she brings her family to the parade most years to visit the old neighborhood and see the new kids marching.
“It’s a Bronx tradition,” she said about the parade.