Coronavirus News: NYC Columbus Day Parade going virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Every year, hundreds of thousands of people gather in New York City for the annual Columbus Day Parade, the largest celebration of Italian-American heritage and culture in the world.

But this year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the event is going virtual.

"Due to COVID-19, we have decided in the best interests of our members, participants and spectators not to have our parade as usual," Columbus Citizens Foundation Board Chairman Angelo Vivolo said in a video posted on their web site. "We will be producing a virtual parade...This has been a year of challenges for our Italian-American community and the country, but I promise we will be back bigger and better next year."

Watch: Full announcement

ABC7NY is a proud to partner with the Columbus Citizens Foundation and planned to present live coverage of the parade. Details will be forthcoming on the virtual event.

Related: Nearly 1 million turn out for annual Columbus Day Parade in NYC in 2019

Past Grand Marshals of New York's Columbus Day Parade have included: Massimo Ferragamo,Sophia Loren; Frank Sinatra; Luciano Pavarotti; Lidia Bastianich; Joe DiMaggio; Mario Andretti; Roberto Cavalli and Maria Bartiromo.

ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CITIZENS FOUNDATION

The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has celebrated Italian-American heritage on New York's Fifth Avenue since 1929.

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