ABC 7 Chicago is the only TV station in town to broadcast the Columbus Day parade. It will be presented commercial free.
ABC 7's Feature/Entertainment reporter and 190 NORTH host Janet Davies; Windy City LIVE host Ryan Chiaverini; and President Emeritus, Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Dominic Di Frisco, will serve as co-hosts during the station's two-hours of coverage. ABC 7's Mark Nilsson from 190 NORTH, will capture the pageantry from the street. Riding atop the ABC 7 Columbus Day Parade float will be Kathy Brock, Linda Yu, Jessica D'Onofrio, Steve Dolinsky, Karen Meyer and John Garcia.
ABC 7 President and General Manager Emily Barr said, "We at ABC 7 are delighted that for the fifth consecutive year we are not only the official Columbus Day Parade station, but the only station in town to broadcast the parade and show it on so many different platforms. This annual event is a terrific opportunity to shine the spotlight on the great Italian-American community here in Chicago."
According to Jo Ann Serpico, Executive Director, Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, "ABC 7 is the place to be for Columbus Day parade coverage. ABC 7 has served as our official Columbus Day Parade Station for the past five years and our partnership continues to flourish. We are excited that Windy City LIVE's Ryan Chiaverini will be joining us this year for one of the most celebrated events in our community."
The fun begins on October 10th at 12:30 pm when the parade wends its way from Columbus and Balbo Drives, proceeding north to Monroe. The 2011 Parade is led by Honorary Parade Marshals Buddy Valastro, Star of TLC's "Cake Boss" and Josette Mentesana Weber, Chairwoman of Casa Italia's Culture and Education Program.
The theme of the 2011 parade is "Unification of Italy equals Unification of Community," honoring Italian Consul General Alessandro Motto, who is the Columbus Day Parade Chairman. 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. This honor recognizes Mrs. Weber for her many years of volunteer service to all the programs held at Casa Italia, the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park, Illinois.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Pat Quinn, Antonio M. Romanucci, president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, Jo Ann Serpico, executive director, of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans will lead the parade along with the Great Lakes Navy Band. Over 160 contingents consisting of marchers, bands, drum and bugle corps and floats will participate in this two-hour civic celebration.
Also, dressed in their native dress, is Coro Presanella, a 40 member choral group directly from Italy, will perform for the first time
In addition, the Columbus Day Parade Queen, Bianca Scola from Bolingbrook, Illinois, will ride with her court on a special parade float.
The Columbus Day Parade celebrates Christopher Columbus and his monumental voyage which was first acknowledged in Illinois in 1963 when it became a legal holiday in the state.
The Columbus Day Parade is produced for ABC 7 Chicago by Executive Producer of Local Programming, Christopher Bowen.