Hope you are doing well! As you can see, we decided to write a joint "Scoop" today. As we were setting up our page for the day's blog, Tanya had a sudden change in plans which required her to hop on the road for a quick trip south to San Diego. This would definitely impact her ability to get online most of the day, so since we were both going to chat about Columbus Day, we decided that we would just combine things into one column!
Annual NYC Columbus Day Parade Cancelled
We can all attest to the fact that lots of things have changed this year due to the health pandemic around the world. Parades are no exception. So far this year, several major parades in my hometown of New York City have been forced to cancel, putting a damper on a normally festive mood for a number of holidays.
Well, today, the 76th Annual Columbus Day parade did not happen changing a 75-year tradition and joining the ranks of other annual New York City parade cancellations due to covid-19. These include the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Manhattan, the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, Brooklyn, the Pride March in Greenwich Village, the West Indian Day Parade and the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan. What a serious Bummer!!!
Folks, I'm not going to lie (this is Elisa speaking) - I'm really over this whole virtual thing. While I'm all in favor of safety, a parade is just not really a parade without an in-person presence, banners, floats, music, marching bands and lots of happy on-lookers. But, I digress and guess we all need to just push through the current "new normal" for a bit longer.
With regard to the Columbus Day Parade, it has been a celebratory event for Italian American heritage and whatever the political atmosphere is towards Christopher Columbus, this holiday has become synonymous with recognizing great Italian and Italian-Americans and a moment for this ethnic group to celebrate their heritage. Under normal circumstances, New York City's annual Columbus Day parade is the largest celebration of Italian American heritage and culture in the United States.
The virtual event today included Governor Andrew Cuomo as the Grand Marshal of the 76th annual Columbus Day Celebration and featured the Governor unveiling a statue of the Italian religious figure, Mother Cabrini, in Battery Park City. Mother Frances Cabrini was an Italian-American Catholic Nun, who assisted many Italians in immigrating to the United States. She was canonized in 1946 as the first American Saint, and she is the Patron Saint of Immigrants. So, in an effort to bring some essence of celebration during Italian-American Heritage Month, the parade committee . As Italian Americans, Tanya and I will most definitely take pride in this new statue, thinking back to our grandparents and great-grandparents who traveled across the ocean from Italy a century ago and came through Ellis Island to start a new life here in America.
Other featured virtual guest appearances included Dr. Anthony Fauci; Andrea Bocelli; Lidia Bastianich; Joe Piscopo; Maria Bartiromo; Kelly Ripa and more! I watched the event which was organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation Board, called The 2020 Columbus Citizens Foundation Italian Heritage & Achievement Special which aired earlier today, Monday, October 12, 2020, LIVE on WABC-TV!
I found it very touching, namely the performance of the Italian National Anthem performed by Andrea Bocelli.
Fun Facts About the Columbus Day Parade
A few tidbits of information about this huge Italian-American celebration!
- The first parade took place on October 12, 1929, New York City and was led by businessman and Italian immigrant Generoso Pope from East Harlem down to Columbus Circle.
- It is the largest celebration of Italian-American culture in the world
- The parade celebrated Christopher Columbus’s explorations and the achievements and contributions of Italian-Americans in New York and the United States.
- A fund-raising dinner followed the first-ever parade to benefit immigrants creating a new life for themselves in New York City.
The Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York organizes this parade each year
- The parade traditionally attracts nearly one million spectators and over 35,000 spectators
Travelin' Elisa & Travelin' Tanya