PHOTOS: Brooklyn cheers the red, white and blue

June 30, 2014 Editorial Staff
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Red, white and blue was everywhere to be seen down 13th Avenue in Dyker Heights on Saturday, June 28 as parade-goers flocked to the oldest Independence Day parade in the city – the annual Brooklyn-American Independence Day Parade.

The 109-year-old parade – which was sponsored by Long Island Assembly of Knights of Columbus in cooperation with the 13th Avenue Merchants Association – ran along 13th Avenue from 71st to 86th Street.

“It’s a parade where you can wear your patriotism on your sleeve or flag wave,” said Theodore General, who was the parade’s 2008 grand marshal. “This is a parade that promotes the 238th birthday of America and everyone comes out with the American flag and cheers.”

This year’s parade grand marshal was Anthony Vesco, a registered emergency nurse at Brooklyn’s VA Hospital. The 2014 Pro Patria award was presented to Louis Pepe, who headed the Long Island Assembly of the Knights of Columbus.

“It was very nice and uplifting, beautiful day,” said Fran Vella-Marrone, president of Dyker Heights Civic Association. Of all those who marched, “I would have to say the children that march always stand out to me,” she said.

Highlights of the parade included antique cars, the Boy and Girl Scouts, the NYPD mounted police and the Giglio Italian Feast Brass Band.

At 86th Street, the parade’s final destination and where the Knights of Columbus Archbishop John Hughes Council is located, parade attendees enjoyed refreshments and performances by a USO Show Troupe and the Brooklyn Dance Center.

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