The parade aired on ABC 7's 7.2 and 7.3 (Comcast Channel 217 and 244, Wide Open West Channel 101 and 219 and RCN Channel 321 and 618) on Monday, October 8, 2012. An encore presentation of the Columbus Day Parade will air on Sunday October 14th from 12:30-2:30 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 was presented commercial free.
ABC 7's Feature/Entertainment reporter and 190 NORTH host Janet Davies; ABC 7 Sports Anchor Mark Giangreco; 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 Ryan Chiaverini from Windy City LIVE, will capture the pageantry from the street. Riding atop the ABC 7 Columbus Day Parade float will be Ron Magers, Linda Yu, Jessica D'Onofrio, Jason Knowles and Steve Dolinsky.
ABC 7 President and General Manager John Idler said, "We at ABC 7 are proud to be the only station in town to broadcast this important event for the sixth consecutive year. This is a terrific opportunity to shine the spotlight on the wonderful Italian-American community here in Chicago."
According to Jo Ann Serpico, Executive Director, Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, "The Columbus Day Parade is in its 60th year and we couldn't be happier that ABC 7 is broadcasting our parade, the only station in the market to do so. Our relationship with ABC 7 continues to flourish. We are excited once again to have Janet Davies, Mark Giangreco and Ryan Chiaverini as part of the broadcast team joining our President Emeritus, Dominic Di Frisco for the broadcast. They've become part of our family."
The fun begins on October 8th at 12:30 pm when the parade wends its way from Columbus and Balbo Drives, proceeding north to Monroe. The 2012 Parade is led by Honorary Grand Marshal, recently retired Chicago Sun-Times columnist and Dante Award winner, Stella Foster. Additional Honorary Grand Marshals include two outstanding Italian Americans who have contributed to the banking industry in Chicagoland; Florian J. Barbi, First Nations Band and Bank of Bourbonnais and Frank Cerrone, Vice Chairman, Co-CEO, President of Pan American Bank.
The theme of the 2012 parade is "They Helped Make America Great," covering the contributions of legendary Italians such as Enrico Fermi, Filippo Mazzei, Enrico Caruso, William Paca, St. Francis X. Cabrini, and Frank Sinatra among others. Each float will pay tribute to the theme.
In the front line together with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn, will be Parade Chairman, Vincent A. Naccarato, together with leaders of the Italian American community.
The parade will be led by the Great Lakes Navy Band joined by more than 150 units consisting of marchers, bands, drum and bugle corps and floats participate in this two-hour civic celebration. The three ships of Columbus, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria float down Columbus Drive with Roger Davino as Columbus and Gia DeCicco as Queen Isabella.
In addition, the Columbus Day Parade Queen, Olivia Smanitto from Western Springs, Illinois, will ride with her court on the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans' 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.