Arts & Culture Community Event Notices Photos & Videos

Columbus Day Celebration is a Huge Success at Christopher Columbus Park

In front of the statue of Christopher Columbus, from left to right, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, Councilor Sal LaMattina, Senator Anthony Petruccelli, Mayor Thomas Menino, Italian Acting Consul General Luigi Munno, FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines, FOCCP Vice-President Trish Baumer and Councilor Felix Arroyo.
In front of the statue of Christopher Columbus, from left to right, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, Councilor Sal LaMattina, Senator Anthony Petruccelli, Mayor Thomas Menino, Italian Acting Consul General Luigi Munno, FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines, FOCCP Vice-President Trish Baumer and Councilor Felix Arroyo.

The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park organized a terrific day of kid-oriented events at the park attended by over 500 neighbors from the North End and Waterfront area. The celebration was held on Monday, October 11, 2010. Click to see dozens of pictures from the celebration in the photo gallery.

The day started with a short parade around the park, led by dignitaries including Mayor Tom Menino, Italian Acting Consul General Luigi Munno, State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, State Representative Aaron Michlewitz and City Councilors Sal LaMattina and Felix Arroyo. Also marching were the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park, the Eliot School’s Traci Griffith and dozens of neighborhood families with a 3-piece band keeping everyone on pace.

FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines & Vice-President Trish Bauer lead parade around the park.
FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines & Vice-President Trish Bauer lead parade around the park.

Joanne Hayes-Rines, President of the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park, welcomed all the attendees gathered around the statue of Christopher Columbus. Mayor Tom Menino and Italian Acting Consul Luigi Munno spoke to the crowd, marking the holiday and kicking off the celebration.

A highlight during the ceremony was the performance by the Eliot School children who sang several songs in Italian, learned through a program partially paid by the Italian Consulate. The kids ended with an Italian poem in honor of Christopher Columbus. The ceremony was capped off by NEMPAC’s Chris Schroder singing God Bless America and a wreath laying by the Mayor and Italian Consul General at the statue of Christopher Columbus.

Parade particpants stretch throughout the entire park, including Magician Peter O’Malley (left).
Parade particpants stretch throughout the entire park, including Magician Peter O’Malley (left).
Eliot School students sing in Italian, a program partially funded by the Italian Consulate.
Eliot School students sing in Italian, a program partially funded by the Italian Consulate.

Events continued throughout the day with an interactive play by the City Stage Company, a mesmerizing performance by Peter Schaefer of Tanglewood Marionettes, delightful singing by Mariana Iranzi and a stunning performance with Magician Peter O’Malley. The day concluded with a rocking performance by NoEnd, the NEMPAC house band.

Faces light up during the Tanglewood Marionette show.
Faces light up during the Tanglewood Marionette show.

In addition to the events on stage, there was face painting and a musical “petting zoo” complements of the North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC). NEMPAC instructors Jeremy and Sarah worked with the kids during the afternoon. Park rangers were also on hand, courtesy of the National Park Service and Boston Police’s K-9 unit held a canine police dog demonstration.

NEMPAC’s Jeremy Sarzana teaches a child at the musical “petting zoo.” Jeremy also played later with NoEnd, the NEMPAC House Band.
NEMPAC’s Jeremy Sarzana teaches a child at the musical “petting zoo.” Jeremy also played later with NoEnd, the NEMPAC House Band.

The West Lawn of the park, by the Rose Garden, was also filled with activities, including an activity cart courtesy of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. Suzanne Brownell taught “Yoga for Kids” followed by fun activities and races organized by the FOCCP volunteers. Joe Bono, FOCCP Board member, contributed free hot dogs and beverages as prizes.

City Stage Company entertains with an interactive play.
City Stage Company entertains with an interactive play.

City Stage Company entertains with an interactive play.

3-piece band from the North End Feasts entertains the crowd.
3-piece band from the North End Feasts entertains the crowd.

FOCCP is a privately-funded, non-profit group that spent about $2,900 to fund the day’s activities, an amazing achievement for such an ambitious program. Hundreds of donated hours were put in by its volunteers in organizing the event, led by FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines.

FOCCP thanks its neighboring residents and businesses that donate to fund these types of events, light the trellis and keep the park clean and well-maintained. More on FOCCP can be found at www.FOCCP.org including information on the upcoming fundraising gala on November 19, 2010.

Click to view many more photos from the Columbus Day Celebration.

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