Every two years the Columbus Day Parade makes its way back from the North End to East Boston and this year’s parade is sure not to disappoint. With four divisions, dozens of marching bands and a parade that will last nearly four hours, the daylong parade is sure to make organizers proud.
This year’s parade will kickoff at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 7 and make its way from Suffolk Downs to Maverick Square via Bennington and Chelsea Streets.
The weather forecast for Sunday calls for a perfect fall day and the streets will be lined with residents trying to catch a glimpse of the hundreds of participants marching in the streets of Eastie.
This year’s parade included the marching band sounds of Acton Boxboro High School, Syracuse New York Spartan Band and Providence Brass Band among others. There will be plenty of Eastie marchers from East Boston Savings Bank, First Priority Credit Union, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, East Boston Central Catholic, East Boston Pop Warner and Little League.
However, the real objective of the parade is to achieve Eastie pride that is sure to resonate throughout the community Sunday.
This year is the 200th Anniversary of the USS Constitution’s battle in the War of 1812 and the Parade Committee is pleased to host the Pikemen of Old Ironsides along with its Commanding Officer Matthew J. Bonner. In addition, the committee will welcome to Eastie Capt. John Dorey and the visiting sailors from the USS Anzio, one of our country’s finest guided missile cruisers docked at South Boston’s North Jetty from October 5-9.
The crowd attendance is estimated at 150,000 people and Eastie’s elected officials as well as Senator Scott Brown, Congressman Michael Capuano and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray will be in attendance.
According to organizer Albert ‘Buddy’ Mangini, this year’s parade will be in honor of the late Joe Keohane who passed away in July. Keohane was a true friend of the Eastie community and the Columbus Day Parade—serving as Past Grand Marshal.
Keohane, a U.S. Army Veteran, died on July 1 but spent a lifetime working for many causes in the neighborhood. Keohane was a Social Worker at the Heritage Apartments for 27 years and a longtime community activist.
Keohane helped organize the East Boston Veterans Council and VFW Post 6712. Through these efforts, Keohane kept the tradition of veterans’ services alive through Memorial and Veterans Day observations that became part of an Eastie tradition on these solemn days.
He was the Regional Manager of the VFW Post 6721, Past Commander and Officer of the ITAM Post 6 and was named the 2010 Veteran of the Year.
He also volunteered and spent time helping to build civic groups like the East Boston Chamber of Commerce, the East Boston Rotary Club, the East Boston Social Center Elderly Camp where he served as a Board of Director. He was also Past President of the East Boston Kiwanis.