Columbus Day Parade will step off today
By MEGHAN McCOY
The 26th Columbus Day Parade steps off at 3 p.m. today with the second annual Italian Food Fest Celebration following until 10 p.m. in downtown Cape Coral
The parade’s theme this year is “Salute The Troops,” said Linda Biondi of the Sons of Italy. The Sons of Italy, Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge #2504, will host the event.
The parade will run west on Southwest 47th Terrace this year.
The grand marshal for the parade is Ralph Santillo, founder of Invest in America’s Veteran Foundation. He spent six years in NJ National Guard with Medic and Armor Divisions.
The entertainment includes The Del Prados, Bravisimo! featuring Jim Jeffrey, Heidi Brown and Michelle Cook, along with performers Barry Newman & The Lords of Cool.
Barry Newman, producer of the event and 2B Productions and Incorporated president, said the event also will have three Italian opera singers, tarantella dancers that will demonstrate Italian folk dancing usually done at weddings, The Rita Meyer Little Dancers and magic and comedy presented by BJ Odem.
At 7 p.m. another free performance by the 1960s popular recording group will feature Larry Chance and the Earls.
They are known for such hits like “Remember Then,” and “I Believe.”
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Foundation and Cooley’s Anemia.
“Last year we added the food festival,” Biondi said. She said it was a way to thank the community for supporting their charities.
Food Vendor Coordinator Pete Simone said those who attend can expect a “true northern feast” with a variety of foods to taste.
The Italian Food Fest Celebration will include such food vendors like Societa D’Italia, Leone’s, Big Papa’s, Sal’s Pizza, Bella Sera, Ariels, Miami Crepes, Boston Richie, Nino’s Bakery, Working Cow, Ice Cream Club, Crossroads Cafe, Private Platter, Funnel Cake Fact, Don Anthony’s, Pete’s, Tormas Bistro and Taste of Sicily.