Ragamuffins make it an even 50! March celebrates half a century

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For the record books: Teddy Roosevelt, the Statue of Liberty, and a sailor spread Ragamuffin cheer for the 50th annual parade.
Family fun: Dan and Serena Donovan came out with their daughter Aniella, who dressed up as Raggedy Ann.
Mariachi on Third: George Hamboussi headed to the parade with his sombrero-clad mariachi band nephew Jaden Hambossui.
Fire watch: Brothers Elie and Elian Leitch protected parade-goers as firefighters.

Vampires, superheroes, and princesses took over Third Avenue for the Ragamuffin Parade on Oct. 1.

Hundreds of kids and youthful adults dressed in their best get-ups and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Bay Ridge rite of passage — one that’s important to pass on, said one attendee.

“It’s a tradition — my sister and I have pictures from when we were kids, and now we bring our kids,” said Jamie Fialo who was born and raised in Bay Ridge and brought her 1-year-old daughter Avery to the parade. “It’s important that we share this tradition with our daughter.”

Fialo and her husband Ralph made Avery’s costume — a little old lady — from scratch using plastic pipes to create a walker and grey yarn wrapped around hot pink curlers as a makeshift wig. A pair of glasses with a pearl neck cord tied the outfit all together.

Other families came coordinated. One set of parents dressed in safari garb and outfitted their baby in a crocodile costume. Another came as Ursla and King Triton from “The Little Mermaid” and dressed their baby as Sebastian the crab. One pair of brothers dressed as fire trucks and cruised the area for fires — it was a day they had been looking forward to for weeks, their mom said.

“The boys have been talking about the parade for two weeks,” said Ridgite Ronza Leitch, mom to Elie and Elian. “It’s become a tradition for our family, and the kids love it every single year.”

The march is such an integral piece of the neighborhood’s fabric that the city named a street for it last month.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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