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Columbus Day Parade in Bensonhurst

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Columbus Day came early in Bensonhurst.

Bensonhursters of varying ethnicities braved the rain on Oct. 11 to celebrate Italian-American heritage during the 33rd Columbus Day Parade — two days before the official holiday.

The procession carried revellers 24 blocks down 18th Avenue — co-named “Cristoforo Columbo Boulevard” for the Italian-born explorer — between 60th and 84th streets.

And just one head honcho just wasn’t enough for this year’s parade. Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurs­t), Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), Investors Bank vice president Regina Scire, and the Msgr. Jamie Giganitello all served as Grand marshals for the march.

The yearly parade is sponsored by the Federation of Italian-American Organizations, a nearly 40-year-old umbrella organization that offers social services and community programming for the neighborhood.

After the procession wrapped up, parade-goers hustled over to Il Centro — the Federation’s soon-to-open community center — for a cannoli-eating contest.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 5:36 pm, July 9, 2018
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