ABC 7 CHICAGO, the official station of the 61st annual Columbus Day Parade, first broadcast the parade live, Monday, October 14th, from 12:30-2:30 pm on ABC 7's 7.2. (Comcast Channel 217 and 244, Wide Open West Channel 101 and 219 and RCN Channel 321 and 618). An encore presentation of the Columbus Day Parade will air on Sunday, October 20th from 12:00-2:00 pm on the station's main channel, ABC 7.
ABC 7 Chicago is the only TV station in town to broadcast the Columbus Day parade. The live broadcast will be presented commercial free.
ABC 7's Sports Anchor and Sports Director Mark Giangreco, Feature/Entertainment reporter and 190 NORTH host Janet Davies and Meteorologist Mike Caplan will host this year's festivities. Riding atop the ABC 7 Columbus Day Parade float will be Kathy Brock, Steve Dolinsky, Alan Krashesky, Ron Magers, Rafer Weigel, and Linda Yu.
The fun begins on October 14th at 12:30 pm when the parade makes its way from Columbus and Balbo Drives, proceeding North to Monroe. The theme of the 2013 parade is "The Year of Italian Culture in the United States," showcasing the culture and traditions of Italy. Serving as this year's Grand Marshal is Michael W. Ferro Jr., Chairman of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Honorary Parade Marshal is Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court.
The Columbus Day Parade Queen, Victoria Martello, of Oak Lawn will be front and center along with her majestic court. Martello began her reign in July after she was selected during a pageant sponsored by the Joint Civil Committee of Italian Americans.
The Great Lakes Navy Band will lead the parade joined by more than 150 units consisting of marchers, bands, drum and bugle corps and floats participate in this two-hour civic celebration. Following the Columbus Day Parade Queen on the "Santa Maria" will be John Trilla Duffy as Christopher Columbus and Ashley Marie Samato as Queen Isabella.
Along with Great Lakes Navy Band there will be the Italian American War Veterans, Women's division of JCCIA, Jessie White Tumbling Team and many more Italian-American organizations and businesses such as Tony's Finer Foods, Pan American Bank, Rosebud's Restaurant, Supreme Lobster and Seafood, Phil Stefani's Signature Restaurants, Gene & Georgetti, Rago Brothers Funeral Home, Gonnella Baking, and Turano Baking Company.
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.
The Columbus Day Parade is produced by ABC 7 Chicago.