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Tag Archives: Columbus Day

The fight of our lives

We are stronger together than apart. There is no greater testament to that fact than the multiethnic coalition that has rallied to reverse the Chicago Board of Education’s decision to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The removal of Columbus Day is not just about Italian Americans. On the evening of Feb. 26, while most of us were welcoming home our children from school or sharing dinner with family or friends, the Chicago Board of Education usurped Columbus Day. Poof. It was gone faster than your Nonno could pinch your cheek and let go. And why? Because the community ...

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Giangrande throws party to celebrate parade’s success

Sergio Giangrande sure knows how to run a parade … AND throw a party. Thanks to the enthusiastic leadership of the 2017 chairman, float, sponsorship and TV ad sales were through the roof. When all was said and done, five major sponsors had signed on in support of the festivities, and another dozen benefactors purchased 30-second introductory “vignettes,” making it possible to broadcast the entire parade commercial free on ABC. “And we did so well on float sales that the company we work with ran out!” says Domenico Gambino, who recommended Giangrande for the chairmanship. “I’m close friends with Sergio’s ...

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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. ...

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Rep. DeLuca saves the day!

It’s amazing what someone can accomplish with a little passion and diplomacy. State Rep. Anthony DeLuca’s recent defense of Columbus Day is a shining example. As we all know, annual celebrations of Columbus have been under assault for decades, with cities and states across the country either flat-out eliminating them or supplanting them with celebrations honoring Native Americans. The latest major municipality to deep six Columbus Day was Los Angeles, where the city council voted 14-1 to replace it with Indigenous People’s Day following a fractious public hearing that attracted national media attention. But here in Illinois, our celebration still ...

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Jaclyn Puccini reigns as queen on Columbus Day

    Jaclyn Puccini was crowned Queen of the Columbus Day parade at a glittering pageant on Aug. 28 at Alta Villa Banquets in Addison. “‘Exciting’ doesn’t begin to describe the 2016 Columbus Day Queen Pageant,” JCCIA Executive Director Jo Ann Serpico says. “Enthusiasm radiated from the family members, friends and community leaders who attended, and the young women were perfect examples of confidence, courage and leadership.” Ron Onesti of Onesti Entertainment chaired the event and served as master of ceremonies, and Marilyn Fredericks handled the choreography. “Ron and Marilyn did a spectacular job of running this year’s pageant,” Serpico ...

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Jessica Malpede reigns as queen on Columbus Day

  Jessica Malpede was crowned Queen of the Columbus Day parade at a glittering pageant on Sept. 20 at Alta Villa Banquets in Addison. “‘Exciting’ doesn’t begin to describe the 2015 Columbus Day Queen Pageant,” JCCIA Executive Director Jo Ann Serpico says. “Enthusiasm radiated from the family members, friends and community leaders who attended, and the young women were perfect examples of confidence, courage and leadership.” Ron Onesti of Onesti Entertainment chaired the event and served as master of ceremonies, and Marilyn Fredericks handled the choreography. “Ron and Marilyn did a spectacular job of running this year’s pageant,” Serpico says. ...

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Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans
2014 Columbus Day Parade

by Jo Ann Serpico Absence makes the heart grow fonder. After too long an absence from State Street, our community was longing for a return to our original parade route. “State Street, That Great Street” was the staging ground for one of the most fabulous Columbus Day parades in Chicago in years. The Carnevale characters, the man on stilts, the clowns, the marching bands, the procession of floats teeming with men, women and children happy to be a part of our phenomenal display, all made for a celebration beyond compare. Giovanni Gullo, this years exceptional Parade Chairman, led the front ...

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