Sponsors Needed for 20th Annual Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival

Posted on July 19, 2011 By

Who knew that the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492, would still be celebrated today more than 500 years later as Columbus Day, a federal holiday!  Who knew that one of the major celebrations in Ocean County, New Jersey, would be the annual Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival, now celebrating its twentieth anniversary.

The Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival will be held Friday, October 7 through Sunday, October 9, Grant Avenue, Seaside Heights. The weekend festival culminates on Sunday, October 9 on the Boulevard with an exciting parade beginning at 1:00 p.m. The parade, viewed by thousands, is made up of floats, bands, organizations, a folkloric group from Italy, eight state police officers from Italy, and much more.

Michael Blandina, parade chairman, says, “The parade and Italian festival could never have become a reality without the generosity of our sponsors. The cost of hosting the parade and festival easily exceeds $120,000.00 each year. Naturally, we are looking for corporations,businesses, or organizations, and individuals to sponsor our twentieth year celebration.”

Available sponsorships include large bands, floats, the antique car show, entertainment, the Treasure Chest Prize Give-away, the entertaining and dining tent, entertainers from Italy, and the Italian Festival, among others.

Other  opportunities include fund-raising raffles, and a benefit on September 10, 2011, at Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Brick Township.

Jerry Bove, owner of LaBove Grande Restaurant, Lakehurst, who with the parade committee is hosting eight of the state Italian police officers for the week, says, “It is a great thing to see two countries coming together for the Columbus Day parade and celebration. This is our own Jersey parade, the best parade in the country! We want to make the police officers’ stay a pleasurable one, and we want this relationship to continue to grow.  We want them to feel that when they leave the United States, they still have family here.”

To make sure sponsors are included in all advertising efforts, anyone who would like to become a sponsor should respond by September 19, 2011.  For questions and more information, call Michael Blandina at 732-477-6507.