By Juhi Varma
It’s been five years since the Santa Maria floated through Revere. The reinstated columbus day parade drew an enormous, cheering crowd Monday afternoon.
The columbus day parade began at 1:00 p.m. at the Speakeasy at Lower Broadway and progressed down Broadway to Revere Street at the rear of St. Anthony’s Church.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to bring the parade back,” said Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo, from the viewing gallery. “It’s obviously something that the residents wanted, as you can see along the parade route.” He gestured at the colorful participants and spectators.
“You have thousands of people – tons of families – come out to take part in the long-standing tradition … Revere has always enjoyed. I’m grateful to my colleagues on the city council for providing the funding. They obviously saw the same thing I did, and that was that there was an appetite amongst our residents to continue on with the parade as we always have for decades. God was good to us, the weather was great. I’m really looking forward to future parades like this.”
The mayor credited Revere’s Veterans Office Director Nick Bua and Parade Coordinator Buddy Mangini for the planning effort.
“mayor dan rizzo saw fit to reinstate the parade in Revere,” said Mangini. “It’s been absent for six years. We have a great four-division parade. We have bands from all the New England states, marching units, color guards, ROTC units and everything else. We hope everyone’s having a great time.”
“We found we’d be in the parade two weeks ago. We had dance practice every day,” said Mia Cirkic of Dance Central Station. That troupe of girls in black t-shirts and leggings gave a perfectly coordinated performance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” a perfect Halloween-themed song.
“It’s great – fun for the kids,” said Revere resident Levent Berksan, who came to watch the procession with his young son and daughter. “This is the first time we’ve seen it. Yesterday there was a Halloween parade, and there were throwing chocolates and candies. They haven’t started that yet,” he smiled.