Locals turn out to take in annual Bensonhurst Columbus Parade

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Three cheers for Columbus: Cheerleaders marched in the Bensonhurst parade.
Marching music: Students from Fort Hamilton High School’s marching band dazzled onlookers.
Parade watcher: Bensonhurst resident Bryan Wasser took in the sites of the parade.
Grand marshal: Police detective Stephen Agosta who was one of the Grand Marshals of the parade.
Angels on parade: Curtis Sliwa of the Guardian Angels marched in the parade.
Nice wheels: Ralph Ross and Paulie Stile showed off the 1947 Hudson that Ross drove in the parade.
Beep beep: A 1927 Bugatti was one of the fleet of classic cars that made an appearance in the parade.

They took to the streets with pride.

Locals marched along 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst on Oct. 6 for the Federation of Italian-American Organizati­ons’ 37th annual Columbus Parade. The mother of one youngster who walked in the parade with his school said her son enjoyed taking in the sights along the 1.5-mile route stretching from 61st Street to Benson Avenue.

“It was a good experience for him to be a part of the parade,” said Lorena Wasser of her 8-year-old son, Bryan.

The festivities started with a mass at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church on Bay Parkway and 61st Street, then the parade kicked off a few hours later with three grand marshals leading the way: former commissioner of the Fire Department and city’s Office of Emergency Management Joseph Bruno, PS 748 principal Ursula Annio, and the police department’s Det. Stephen Agosta.

The grand marshals led students from Fort Hamilton High School’s marching band, who created the soundtrack to the streets with their drums and instruments, along with cheerleaders from local schools, who dazzled onlookers by dancing to the beat. And automobile aficionados also got to enjoy the fleet of antique cars that rolled down the street.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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