Italian pride painted Fifth Avenue red, white and green Monday as flags waved for the 68th annual Columbus Day Parade. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
From the Marines to the Port Authority Police Pipes and Drums to a depiction of Christopher Columbus himself, the Columbus Day Parade had a little bit of everything.
"I'm Italian, so perfect time to come here," said one attendee from Arizona.
Crowds lined Fifth Avenue Monday for the 68th Columbus Day Parade, which celebrates Italian and Italian-American Culture and Heritage. It's not only about the voyage of Columbus in 1492 but the journey others took to America as well.
"We celebrate the people that came here on their own voyage in the early 20th Century who came here with little more than the clothes on their back," said Frank Fusaro, the president of the Columbus Citizens Foundation. "They came here for opportunity."
A number of elected officials marched, as did this year's Grand Marshal, Mario Gabelli, a Bronx native known for his investment know-how and philanthropy. He talked about one of the keys to his success.
"If you think you are going to work 9 to 5, you're OK," he said. "But if you work 5 to 9 and you're smart, you've got a real tail wind."
There's a lot of things to love about this parade. My favorite part was the cool Italian sports cars. One carried soap opera queen Susan Lucci. Another carried Miss USA. All in all, it was plenty of fun for those in the crowd.
"The whole thing's amazing," said one parade-goer. "It's really nice."
"Couldn't be more proud to be Italian," said another.