Columbus Day Parade returns to NYC

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Columbus Day Parade returned after the in-person parade was canceled due to the pandemic last year.

Grand Marshal Michael Pascucci, Chairman of Duck Pond Associates, led dozens of marching bands and floats and over 100 marching groups up the Fifth Avenue parade route from 44th Street to 72nd Street.

Maseratis and Lamborghinis revved and roared through Midtown as Italian pride filled the city.

Revelers said the parade made them feel proud to be Italian.

Some even came from Italy to soak it all in. The parade is the world's largest celebration of Columbus Day, with tens of thousands of people visiting the city for the Italian-American heritage celebration.

WATCH | Highlights from the 77th Annual Columbus Day Parade:
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The parade is the world's largest celebration of Columbus Day, with tens of thousands of people visiting the city for the Italian-American heritage celebration.



Organizers said the 77th Annual Columbus Day Parade was the largest parade up Fifth Avenue since the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We we're the first big parade after 9/11 and we're proud to be the first big parade coming out of the pandemic," said Marian Pardo with the Columbus Citizens Foundation. "We all know we're not there yet but we're very well on our way, and if you see the crowds on the streets you know everybody is just so anxious to be back and show each other love, show the city love, and that's what we're all trying to do."

The theme after 9/11 was Resilience, Rebuild, Reunite. And that was the theme once again this year.

Columbus Heritage Coalition Angelo Vivolo, SNL alumnus and actor/performer Joe Piscopo, and representatives from the city's largest Italian-American organizations announced the parade details last week.

"As we acknowledge the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and emerge from a health crisis that none of us could have imagined a few years ago, we are honored to produce the Columbus Day Parade as means to reunite us as Italian Americans, as New Yorkers and as citizens of the United States," Vivolo said, "Twenty years ago, the Columbus Day Parade was the first major event in New York City following 9/11. We once again look forward to showing the world that as a community, as a city and as a country, we are resilient beyond measure. Having Michael Pascucci lead our Parade is a fitting honor as we work together to rebuild and reunite stronger than ever."

Piscopo was joined by Eyewitness News anchors Ken Rosato and Sandra Bookman, along with reporter Lauren Glassberg, for the Columbus Day Parade broadcast on WABC-TV Channel 7 from noon to 3 p.m.



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