After a long year which put a damper on last year’s festivities, the sun was shining on the return of Broad Channel’s Mardi Gras parade.
On Labor Day, September 6, the island community lined the curbs to cheer marchers and homemade floats as they rolled down Cross Bay Boulevard.
As is BC tradition, as the parade u-turned near East 20th Road, spectators, with children and chairs in tow, crossed over to catch it again as it then proceeded up the Boulevard in the opposite direction.
Floats included an elaborate Beetlejuice tableau, Olympics and Space Jam spoofs, and heartfelt troop salutes, including a touching tribute to the 13 service members recently lost in Afghanistan.
Each year Broad Channel celebrates Mardi Gras as an end to the season and to summer-long of fundraising events supporting community organizations. This year the Broad Channel Athletic Club hosted and was its recipient.
Mounting floats of their own were Aubrey and Charlotte Allen, Johnny McCarthy and Juliet Henglein, and Robbie O’Hare, running for the titles of Baby Face, Prince and Princess and Mayor respectively. Collectively they raised thousands for the BCAC.
The parade finished at the BCAC Memorial Field, where hot dogs, hamburgers, cold drinks, music, ice cream and amusements awaited. Prizes for floats and marching groups were also awarded.
By the end of the day there were many smiles to welcome back this 100+ year tradition back to Broad Channel.
By Dan Guarino
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