Bronx Columbus Day Parade 2021

Bronx Columbus Day Parade 2021

By Robert Press

The forecast was for rain in the afternoon of Sunday October 10, 2021, the date for the 44th Annual Bronx Columbus Day Parade across Morris Park Avenue, and up Williamsbridge Road to the reviewing stand before Lydig Avenue. The rain was holding off, and the parade was waiting for Mayor Bill de Blasio to arrive to march with the few local elected officials who were marching. Councilman Mark Gjonaj, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto were joined by Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, and soon to be elected the next Bronx Borough President, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson. 

As the parade started, so did the rain. As the elected officials led by Mayor de Blasio marched across Morris Park Avenue the mayor was greeted by much more boos and jeers than cheers. The rain got harder as the marchers approached the reviewing stand on Williamsbridge Road. The bad weather and COVID kept the crowd small, as was the case with the marchers. Only five total schools marched with two schools and one community dance group performing in the rain before the reviewing stand where Councilman Gjonaj, Assemblyman Benedetto, Community Board 11 Chair, and Morris Park Community Association President Al D’ Angelo were with the Grand Marshals of the 44th Bronx Columbus Day Parade. 

The Grand Marshals of the parade were 49th Precinct NCO Steven Brancatelli, FDNY member Matt DeRose, Chief Austin Rodriguez the Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Matt Bruno of the DSNY, Villa Maria Academy teacher Loretta Zanio, Jacobi Hospital Nurse Suzzanne Penacchia, and from Big Deal Supermarket Andy Osoro.  Special thanks goes to Phyllis Nastasio, Chair of the parade committee, Yahay Obeid, and all the others who helped make the 2021 Bronx Columbus Day Parade a success.  

Mayor Bill de Basio is with Deputy Inspector Andrew Natiw commanding officer of the 49th Precinct, Bronx DA Darcel Clark, Incoming Bronx BP Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, CB 11 Chair and President of the MPCA Al D’Angelo, Sergeant Fernandez, many of the 49th Precinct Explorers, and Mcgruff the Crime Dog.

As they walk across Morris Park Avenue the elected officials are all smiles.

 Here a group of parade watchers give the mayor a thumbs down.

As the parade turned the corner onto Williamsbridge Road the rain began to come down heavier.

Preston High School only marched, as you see all their umbrellas are up. 

Cardinal Spellman High School only marched.

St. Raymond Academy had a couple of students perform in front of the reviewing stand.

St Catharine Academy had the Cheerleaders do a dangerous stunt in the rain, which was greeted with approval by the small crowd you see in the background.

P.S. 83 was the only public school to march and perform in the Bronx Columbus Day Parade.

Dancers from CitiStage Academy located on Morris Park Avenue perform before the reviewing stand. 

Local community organizations such as members of the P P N A walked the route, while members of the Van Nest Neighborhood Association rode the distance of the parade. 


The Reviewing Stand set up by the parade committee held the Parade Grand Marshals, Councilman Mark Gjonaj, Assemblyman Benedetto, Bronx DA Clark and CB 11 Chair and President of the MPCA Al D’Angelo (behind Councilman Gjonaj) introduced the marchers as they passed the review stand.
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