Marian Pardo, president of Columbus Citizens Foundation (CCF), has formally announced that this year’s Columbus Day Parade will be a virtual event celebrating all things Italian and will air on ABC Channel 7 (12:30 – 2:00 p.m. EDT).
The 90-minute television celebration will air on ABC Channel 7 as an exclusive special that honors the Italian and Italian American journey through historical vignettes that will showcase a proud heritage and rich cultural traditions. Featuring in-depth interviews with some of the most well-known Italian and Italian American figures across the country, the special will also highlight previous Parade moments that include paying tribute to many of the parade’s former Grand Marshals, including celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich, renowned broadcaster Maria Bartiromo, championship race car driver Mario Andretti, fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, and last year’s Grand Marshal, Massimo Ferragamo, the chairman of Ferragamo USA.
“When considering the health and safety of the hundreds of groups who march in our wonderful parade – and the thousands of New Yorkers who line Fifth Avenue to celebrate Italian American accomplishment – we wanted to find another way to celebrate our event that would have been held on Monday, Oct. 12, of this year,” said Pardo. “This is not a decision we took lightly, and it involved extensive discussion with our Board, our Officers, all senior Foundation staff, and many others.”
“October is Italian Heritage Month in New York and has always been a time to celebrate the culture,” said Debra OConnell, president and general manager of WABC-TV. “We are happy that we’re able to preserve the tradition of the annual Parade by delivering it to our community as a virtual celebration, where everyone can safely experience it via broadcast from the comfort of their home or stream it from their mobile or connected TV devices.”