The Columbus Day Parade

Monday, Oct 12, 2009  |  Updated 3:01 PM EDT
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The Columbus Day Parade

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Italian celebrity Francesca Alderisi carries an Italian flag in the annual Columbus Day parade on Fifth Avenue October 13, 2008 in New York City.

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The Columbus Day Parade, honoring one of history's most famous adventurers, this year  features a modern-day explorer.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is among the participants in the parade, which steps off at midday Monday in Manhattan.

The 65th annual parade turns Fifth Avenue into a sea of red, white and green as Italian Americans celebrate their heritage.

The parade, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.,  will be lead by Grand Marshal Kenneth Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and Chairman of the NYU Langone Medical Center, and hosted by CNBC's Maria Bartiromo and actor/comedian Joe Piscopo.

In addition to the marchers, floats and politicians, the festivities include folk dancers, musicians and Maserati cars from the 1920s.

The parade runs north on Fifth Avenue from 47th through 79th Streets and will be broadcast on NBC New York.

Meanwhile, all government offices are closed today, as well as most banks and all schools in New York and Connecticut. The only post office open in New York is the main on on Eighth Avenue and 33rd Street in Manhattan.

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