SEASIDE HEIGHTS – The Ocean County Columbus Day parade has been a staple event at the Jersey Shore for more than 20 years – drawing thousands spectators from near and far.

Parade Chairman Michael A. Blandina says, “The Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival has grown into one of the most popular ethnic celebrations in the state, attracting thousands of tourists to Seaside Heights over the past 27 years.”

Every year for 28 years, The Ocean County Columbus Day Parade Committee looks for a Grand Marshal for the parade and festival.

Blandina goes on to say that “Grand Marshal nominees should be civic minded individuals who are of good character as they will be the symbolic leader of the weekend’s festivities.”

Notable past Grand Marshals include Mulberry Street Italian Food Center owner Michael Colasurdo, commercial developer Donato “Dan” D’Onfrio, banking executive Nina Anuaria, former Superior Court Judge Peter Giovine, Carol Camilli Wolfe, Stephen R. Leone, Kim Pascarella, Patrick L. Bottazzi, Luigi Marciante, Joseph Leone Introna, Paul Barlo, Alan Floria, Michael A. Blandina, and Judi Leone who was last year’s Grand Marshal.

So how do you nominate someone to be the Grand Marshal?

Nominations must be submitted with a letter of recommendation and biography or resume to:

Ocean County Columbus Day Parade

c/o Michael A. Blandina

249 Hawaii Drive

Brick, NJ 08723

The deadline to nominate someone is Monday, March 18th 2019.

Chairwoman of the Grand Marshal Search Committee Phyllis Shindle says that the selection process is always very difficult because there is always a number of nominees that are deserving of the title. She goes on to say that “The Selection Committee will work diligently to choose the right person to serve as Grand Marshal for this year’s Parade and Italian Festival and one that will represent the Parade Committee and Ocean County in an admirable manner.”

According to Blandina, each and every nomination that is received by the Selection Committee is carefully considered and may be called upon with additional questions.

The Grand Marshal for the 28th Annual Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival will be announced the first week in April. The annual parade and festival is scheduled from October 11th through October 13th.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved with the 2019 Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival, or joining the committee, please contact Michael Blandina at 732-477-6507.


Mark Anthony is a reporter at Townsquare Media: Mark.Kowalski@townsquaremedia.com


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