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Italian flags on Branford’s Main Street are ready for the arrival of the Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade. The parade steps off at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13, in Branford. Pam Johnson/The Sound | Buy This Photo)
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Italian flags are flying on Main Street in Branford this week, heralding the arrival of the celebrated Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade, which takes place this Sunday, Oct. 13, stepping off at 1:30 p.m. on Main Street in Branford.
Known as the largest parade of its kind in New England, the parade circulates its march through six host towns annually. It’s first visit to march in Branford took place in 2013. This year, the historic parade steps off just in time to also help celebrate Branford’s 375th anniversary.
“This great parade is one of the most anticipated events of the year as we celebrate our 375th anniversary,” said Branford First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove.
This year’s parade Grand Marshals are Branford residents Vincent Giordano Jr. and Betty Ann Donegan.
The Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade committee is led by Branford resident and Columbus Day Executive Committee of Greater New Haven president Paul Criscuolo. He said the always-exciting parade is expected to draws thousands of spectators to see the spectacle on Main Street.
Stepping off at 1:30 p.m., the parade will bring in excess of 125 units past dignitaries, honored guests and parade judges in the official reviewing stand on the town green before concluding at Branford High School (185 East Main Street).
“There will be a lot of surprises,” said Criscuolo.
High performance marching units will vie to win top honors from judges in this family-friendly parade. Clowns will visit the crowd during the march, which also features many fife and drum corps, marching bands and special parade floats. Representatives of Italian-American organizations from across the Greater New Haven area march with organizations representing a wide variety of cultures, together with dozens of community music units, marching groups, clubs, teams and schools.
“This is a regional, multi-cultural, 100-percent family-oriented parade,” said Criscuolo. “This year is really special, because we’re honoring Columbus Day and we’re honoring Branford’s 375th anniversary.”
The 2019 Greater New Haven Columbus Day Parade takes place in Branford on Sunday, Oct. 13, stepping off at 1:30 p.m. on Main Street. Recommended parking is at Branford rail station. In case of inclement weather on parade day, call Branford Recreation Department at (203) 488-8304 for updates. For more information visit www.columbusdaynewhaven.org
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