In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  Yes, we all know that popular rhyme.  This weekend, you can celebrate both his life and Italian culture with an annual Ocean County event.

Ocean County Italian Festival in 2011 (Ocean County Columbus Day Committee)

The 21st annual Ocean County Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival begins Friday and runs all weekend long with the big parade taking place Sunday.  All of the festivities are held in Seaside Heights and organizers are promising the best year yet with plenty of family fun, attractions, food vendors and more.

Michael Blandina is the Parade Chairman.  He's been there since the very beginning in 1991.  He says "this is more than just a spotlight of Italian heritage and culture.  This is a huge event to bring in people to Ocean County and the tourism industry.  The event continues to grow in popularity each year and we are so excited about this one."

Blandina says during the parade, we can expect to see plenty of "floats, bands, antique cars, clowns and there will be contests and other fun things for all ages."

The folk dancers of La Takkarata will be performing as well.  They are coming direct from Italy.  Blandina adds "work for these events takes almost a full year - so by Monday, we will be talking about the next one."

 The Italian Festival:

Friday, October 5th, 4:00pm to 10:00pm

Saturday, October 6th, 10:00am to 10:00pm

and Sunday, October 7th, 10:00am to 8:00pm

taking place on Grant Avenue in Seaside Heights


The Parade:

Sunday, October 7th, at 1:00pm on the Boulevard, Seaside Heights.

For more information on the event, call 732-477-6507 or log on to