The bi-annual North End Columbus Day Parade was held Sunday October 8th, beginning at City Hall Plaza and making its way through downtown Boston, the waterfront and into the North End. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was Grand Marshall accompanied by District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina, State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz and State Sen. Joe Boncore. Most of the City Councilors-at-large were represented including Michelle Wu, Michael Flaherty, Ayanna Pressley and Annissa Essaibi-George. Candidates for District City Council seats had large groups including Stephen Passacantilli and Lydia Edwards who are competing for District 1. District 2 candidate Ed Flynn marched with his father and former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.
Police reported no apparent protests during the parade, such as the one seen in Downtown Crossing earlier in the weekend. This year, many of the cultural groups have focused on “Italian American Heritage Month” rather than specifically commemorating Christopher Columbus. Multiple banners spanned across Hanover Street identifying October as “Italian American Heritage Month.” Also representing Italy was the Boston Consul General Nicola De Santis and a contingent from the Italian Consulate.
Leading the first division were Boston Police and Fire honor guard, U.S. Air Force and other military. There were plenty of marching bands, drum & bugle corps, antique cars, North End feast floats, Italian-American organizations, Order Sons of Italy Lodges, Aleppo Shriners, and community groups.
The Columbus Day parade alternates between Eastie and the North End. The 2018 parade will be held in East Boston.