New York Columbus Day Parade - New York News

New York Columbus Day Parade

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The Columbus Day Parade kicked off on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Monday with floats, bands and more than 100 groups participating.

The parade stepped off at 11:30 a.m. at Fifth Avenue and 44th Street and ran north to 72nd Street.

The Columbus Citizens Foundation, which runs the parade, said the festivities included about 35,000 participants and about 1 million spectators. The parade also included a float bearing a giant head of Christopher Columbus.

General Raymond Odierno, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, was among the parade's honorees.

"I always think about my grandfather who came to New York at the turn of the century. I wonder what he would be thinking about if he saw me being honored here. Probably unimaginable to him. He had so much courage to come to this country," Odierno told Good Day New York on Monday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials also joined in the celebration.

The Christopher Columbus Foundations says it's the largest celebration of Italian-American culture in the world.

A Columbus Day Parade Mass was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral prior to the parade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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