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JCCIA pulls out all the stops for 2017 parade

The 2017 Columbus Day Parade was among the best in recent memory. The sun shone brightly and the weather was glorious, attracting a record crowd. And thanks to the enthusiastic leadership of our parade chairman, Sergio Giangrande, we maxed out the capacity of our float company and enjoyed tremendous support from sponsors and television advertisers alike.

Festivities officially began on Oct. 6 with the revival of our beloved flag raising ceremony at the Daley Center. On Oct. 9, a total of nine buses left the grounds of Casa Italia over the course of the morning for the Mass and Parade.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii was packed the Mass, the altar was gorgeous with bouquets of flowers, and music resounded throughout. Father Fragomeni’s words were stimulating and JCCIA President Enza Raineri greeted all.

The Marist Band and Knights of Columbus were impressive as always. At Arrigo Park, the words of Marie Marsalli of the State Grand Lodge of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America were inspiring.

Then it was off to State Street for another great parade. Volunteers on foot and floats and in convertibles were waving flags of red, white, blue and green as far as the eye could see. Anthony Rago did another fine job in his third year as parade announcer, and Parade Marshal Lou Rago contributed mightily to another successful event. Reigning over all was our Queen, Gianna Tuminello, with members of her court at her side.

Dominic Gambino did a masterful job of organizing the post-parade reception at Casa Italia, which required several tents to accommodate the overflow crowd.

How fortunate we are to have so many people participate in this celebration of our heritage. We owe a debt of thanks to the JCCIA leadership for upholding this legacy.

This page sponsored by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans

About Jo Ann Serpico

Jo Ann is the executive director of the JCCIA; a member of the Casa Italia board; past president of the JCCIA, Calabresi in America and Maroons Ladies Club; past secretary of the Maroons and Italian American War Veterans Post 2 Ladies Auxiliary; and a member of the Italian American Women’s Organization. She has been honored by the Maroons, Italian American Executives of Transportation, Cook County Board President John Stroger, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, Illinois Department of Public Health, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, JCCIA Women’s Division, Order Sons of Italy in America State Grand Lodge, Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, Italian American Police Association, Comune di Campofelice di Roccella, Provincia di Palermo, Italian American Political Coalition, and Comboni Mission Center.

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