The College Point Memorial Day parade will be held on Sunday, May 29, to honor those who have fallen in service to the country.
The parade will begin at 2 p.m. at the intersection of 28th Avenue and College Point Boulevard and will end at Fifth Avenue and 119th Street with a showing of several classic cars. There will be no parking or driving along the parade route from 1:30 to 4 p.m. All vehicles will need to use alternate routes between these hours.
Marching bands, drill teams, military, FDNY, NYPD and community organizations are participating in the parade. The bands include the Wholly Brass Band, Giglio Band, Francis Lewis High School Junior ROTC, the Colonial Musketeers Fife Drum Corps and the Patriot Brass Ensemble.
Elected officials such as Senator John Liu, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Councilwoman Vickie Paladino and Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal are among other dignitaries expected to attend.
Longtime College Point resident Betsy Filacchione, whose husband was a veteran, is the grand marshal for this year’s parade. Ava Tinnirello has been chosen as this year’s Poppy Queen.
According to Jennifer Shannon, president of the College Point Citizens for Memorial Day Inc., 42 American flags and 42 Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) flags will line the street of College Point Boulevard. White crosses with the names of College Point residents who lost their lives abroad will be placed at a makeshift cemetery located at the reviewing stand at MacNeil Park on Poppenhusen Avenue.
“You just get a very strong feeling of loss because these are all people from College Point, and it’s the memory of our Gold Star parents, and that’s the parents of fallen heroes,” Shannon said.
For Shannon, whose father was a veteran, Memorial Day parades honoring the fallen are important because it brings attention to the men and women who died while defending the country and others who can’t defend themselves.
“There’s something very special about a person who leaves their house and their country knowing that there’s a chance that they may not come back home,” Shannon said. “The bravery behind that is astounding to me. It’s a beautiful thing and I feel like it’s a day that’s getting lost in our society. I don’t think people talk about it enough or they remember all these men and women and that’s sad.”
Shannon is encouraging residents to come out and have a good time at the Memorial Day Parade on Sunday.
“It’s a great event and a lot of fun. Even though what we’re doing is something that has a very sad feeling to it, honoring people that died. At the end of the day, it’s an event that brings the community together — new members, and members that have been here for years,” Shannon said. “If you’re home, come out and support the parade. Even if you’re not marching, you can support it by standing on the boulevard and watching everyone come down.”