Generally Speaking: Ragamuffins to take annual stroll down Third Avenue

October 2, 2013 Theodore W. General
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The world of fantasy and imagination will come alive this Saturday as the half-pint brigades invade Third Avenue for the 47th annual Children’s Ragamuffin Parade. Expect to see such loveable and fierce characters and heroes,recreatedand impersonated by theyoung ragamuffins as Spiderman, SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Ninja Turtles, Yo Gabba, Gabba, Tinker Bell, Diego,Bob the Builder, Superman, Batman, pirates, fire fighters, princesses, “Despicable Me” minions, Strawberry Shortcake, Raggedy Ann, Smurfs — you get the idea! The parade kicks off at 1 p.m. from 76th Street and goes to92ndStreet.Don’t miss it. It’s trulythe fun event of the year!

The first parade, way back in 1967, was along Fourth Avenue, with Cliff Scanlon as President and founder, and Louis Sternbach, President of the then 86th Street Board of Trade, as Grand Marshal. It was Rev. James McKenna, the former associate pastor of Our Lady of Angels Church who came up with the idea and worked with some of his prominent parishioners and others to see his dream become a reality. The parade became an instant success and continued to grow.Now over three generations of families have had their childrentake part in the pre-Halloween parade.Today, towns, neighborhoodsand communities throughout the tri-state area are holding similar parades, a lasting tribute to the original founders here in Bay Ridge.

This year the parade committee tapped a hometown girl to lead the parade. She is Fort Hamilton High School graduate Karina Costantino, who taught at Bay Ridge’s P.S./I.S. 104, was a longtime Staten Island Principal, and is now the current superintendent for District 20 public schools. She will be wearing the sash as 2013 Grand Marshal. Joining her will be Ragamuffin ‘Man of the Year, another local favorite, Frankie Mara.

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Led by Bay Ridge’s Clann Eireann Pipe Band, hundreds of youngsters, their parents, coaches,and referees marched in the68th Precinct Youth Council’s annual soccer season opening parade. They trekkedalong 7th Avenue from 92nd Street to the ball fields in Dyker Beach Park. This year, we’re told over 900 children signed up for the 2013 Soccer program.

The Council has been running sports programs for several decades. It is one of the largest youth sports program in Southwest Brooklyn. Current officers are Chris Tropiano, president; Ellen Triscuizzi, vice president; Peter DeCarlo, treasurer; Donna Fathelbab, corresponding secretary and Maureen O’Brien, recording secretary. Also look for the popular Clann Eireann Pipe Band which was founded in 1930, at Saturday’s annual Ragamuffin Parade. The bandsmen are led Pipe Major and DirectorRobert O’Hare.


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