Cake Boss Buddy Valastro Grand Marshal JC Columbus Day Parade 2014

Sep 25, 2014 1467

Christopher Columbus Day 2014 just got a little sweeter now that Reality TV Star Buddy 'CAKE BOSS' Valastro, whose bakery business has expanded to Jersey City, will be Grand Marshal of the Jersey City Columbus Day Parade.

On Sat, Oct. 11, at 1 pm, Jersey City will honor its rich Italian heritage when the JC Columbus Day Parade steps off from the Dickinson High School campus on the corner of Palisade Avenue and marches down Newark Ave to Jersey City Hall. Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop will be on-hand to show his support.

This marks the 5th year the JC Columbus Day Parade takes place in one of Jersey City's most established Italian-American neighborhoods that includes Holy Rosary Church, the first Italian parish in New Jersey. Nicholas J. Grillo, President of the Jersey City Columbus Day Parade committee and a congregant at Holy Rosary Church says this year's parade is extra special.

"This is our fifth year and the parade just keeps getting better," Grillo says. "Which is why we're starting at Dickinson High School. The contingent marching in the parade is getting bigger and every year more people come out to see it. This year, with the 'Cake Boss' as our Grand Marshal, we believe lots of people will come out to see him lead our parade."

The Jersey City Columbus Day Parade will have some terrific bands and civic groups, too. Grillo says: "We are grateful to our supporters who, every year, help us honor those Italian-Americans who work hard every day to enrich our Italian-American heritage and the quality-of-life in our community"

Every year, the parade honors local Italian-American movers and shakers and some honorary Italian Americans, too. This year's honorees are Grand Marshall, Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro; Italian Woman of the Year Marianne Costello; Italian Man of the Year Nicholas Sorrentino; Italian Police Officer of the Year Joseph Manna, JCPD; Italian Firefighter of the Year Anthony DelFino, JCFD; Italian Businessman of the Year Steven Battagliano; Italian Medical Professional of the Year Jessica Walsh, APN-C; Italian Educator of the Year Mike Greco; Honorary Italian Woman of the Year Maureen Hullings; Honorary Italian Man of the Year John Burns; and Miss Columbus Lauren Radziewicz. The Navigator Award goes to Jeanine Zampella

Joseph Manna of the Jersey City Police Department and Italian Police Office of the year was born, raised, and educated in Jersey City, and says he's proud of his Italian heritage and honored to be recognized.

"This is where I chose to start my career with the Jersey City Police Department and raise my family," Manna says. "I'm proud of my Italian heritage. Jersey City is filled with Italian history and culture and it has continued to develop in ways greater than I could ever have imagined. I am honored to be a police officer in this great metropolitan city that I call home and I am honored to be recognized as Italian American Police Officer of the Year and look forward to continuing my services within the community."

Italian Medical Professional of the Year Jessica Walsh, APN-C, is a Nurse Practitioner at the Jersey City Medical Center where she manages cardiac patients. Walsh says it's a great feeling to be recognized and rewarded for the work she loves to do.

"I am very proud to say I am an Italian, born at Margaret Hague and raised in downtown Jersey City," Walsh says. "Being a Nurse Practitioner affords me the opportunity to serve the community that I am honored to say I am still part of. It allows me to participate in strengthening the nursing profession by providing continuous education in Jersey City for the future of healthcare. I would like to thank the nominators and also congratulate the other honorees for their service to this city as proud Italian Americans."

Grand Marshal Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro, owner of Carlos' Bakery in Hoboken is also a huge reality TV star on the TLC cable show "CAKE BOSS". Since the show's debut in 2009, Valastro's bakery business has expanded and he built a cake factory at Lackawanna Center in Jersey City to meet the high demand for his custom wedding and specialty cakes.

Community groups are especially welcome to march this year, Grillo says, and there's still time to sign up. In the parade so far are Red Mike's Festival Band; American Celts Pipe & Drums; Hampton Pipes & Drums; JC Fire Dept. Pipe & Drum Band; All Stars Cheerleaders; Friendly Sons of St. Patrick; University Club; Bayonne Raiders, Bayonne Bridgemen; and the Jersey City Police and Fire Departments. Groups interested in signing up can go to the website, and download the forms. Admission is free.

"This is a community parade to celebrate the people of Jersey City and their Italian heritage," Grillo says. "That's why this parade is so terrific. New businesses have opened, families and individuals are flowing in and Downtown Jersey City is flourishing more than ever. We want everyone to join in the fun and celebrate."

The Jersey City Columbus Day Parade is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt charitable organization.

For more info, go to All media are invited to cover the event; for interviews, please contact 201-776-9222.

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