By Aaron Keebaugh
This coming Monday morning, the Columbus Day Parade Committee will host the first of its planned annual Columbus Day Breakfasts at the Beachmont VFW.
The breakfast, a fundraiser to bring back Revere’s Columbus Day parade next year, will run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The event will feature a number of guest speakers, including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino; Melrose Mayor Robert Dolan, Gail Huff, wife of Senator Scott Brown; Congressmen Ed Markey and Mike Capuano; State Senators Anthony Petruccelli and Jack Hart; and State Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, House Speaker Robert DeLeo; and Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral; among others. Mayor Dan Rizzo will serve as emcee for the event.
Over the past several months, the Parade committee–composed of city employees, local business leaders, representatives from East Boston Savings Bank, and interested residents–has worked persistently on the fundraiser breakfast, which they hope will raise interest and financial support for the parade.
Putting on a parade is an expensive task. The parade committee hopes to raise $20,000 from the breakfast, about one-third of the estimated cost for the planned parade. As of last week, the committee had received $16,825 from donations and ticket sales.
Plans for the parade are still being developed, but, in past meetings, committee members have discussed exhibiting military units, the Shriner’s band, marching bands from Boston University and Boston College, and inviting the Commandant from the U.S.S. Constitution.
During a committee meeting at the Chamber of Commerce last week, Mayor Rizzo confirmed that local accordion player Joe Balzotti will provide music during the breakfast.
Committee co-chair Nick Bua said that patrons will have to check in at the table that will be set up in the foyer at the front entrance of the VFW. The side and rear entrances to the building will be closed.
Patrons will be able to park at the VFW, in the parking lot at the nearby Beachmont School, or along the street, he said.