YONKERS, N.Y.- City politicians took a break from official business Wednesday morning to grab a paint brush in preparation of the city’s 85th annual Columbus Day Parade.
Mayor Mike Spano led the group onto Midland Avenue, where they helped paint the final red, green and white stripes along the parade route near Mile Square Road.
Even Christopher Columbus himself was on hand for the ceremonial painting, helping prep for a parade that will be the highlight of a weekend organizers say is the largest celebration of Italian heritage in Yonkers.
“It’s going to be a great day and a great way to kick off our Italian Heritage Month and celebrate Columbus Day,” said the city’s Columbus Day Committee Chairman Robert Ferrito.
The weekend celebration will begin Friday with a Columbus Day Dinner Dance at the Westchester Manor House on Saw Mill River Road. On Saturday, worshipers will gather for a 5 p.m. Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on Park Avenue.
A day later, Italians will celebrate the raising of the Italian flag at City Hall. At 2 p.m., and led by grand marshals Annette and Ronald Volino, the Columbus Day parade will march off for the 85th time.
“It’s going to be a great weekend for Italians and for the City of Yonkers,” Ferrito said.
The parade will begin on Yonkers and Seminary avenues and head north on Seminary Avenue to Smart Avenue. From there, marchers will continue along Smart Avenue before making a left onto Midland Avenue where they will wrap up the parade.
This will be the fourth year the parade, which celebrates Italian heritage, will be along this route.