Broad Channel Mardi Gras Lives!
Marking ten months and four days to the day after Hurricane Sandy submerged their island, Broad Channel marched forward on Monday, September 2nd, with a tradition nearly as old as the community itself.
Mardi Gras came to Broad Channel.
Hundreds lined the streets as traffic lanes along Cross Bay Boulevard were closed by police to make way for dozens of floats and a few hundred marchers.
The floats, most of which featured children, played on such themes as “Pint Size Pirates of Jamaica Bay,” “Cereal Wars,” “Surfin’ USA,” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
Leading off the parade was the American Legion color guard. Playing stirring pre-recorded music, the BC Volunteer Fire Department closed out the event, showing off shining new fire trucks and ambulances. The vehicles were donated by local fire departments from all over after the BCVFD’s equipment was destroyed in the storm.
The BC parade caps off a summer long competitive series of fundraising events for local organizations. The practice dates from the early 1900’s. This year’s Mardi Gras beneficiary was the Broad Channel Athletic Club.
Never short on current events commentary, this year’s messages spoke to a community which continues to wade through the storm’s aftermath and where many have still not be able to return. They ran the gamut from “Thanks to DSNY, Mormons, VFW, the (American) Legion, BCVFD, BCAC and ALL who helped” and “Thanks 4 Nothing Red Cross, Cuomo, Bloomberg, NFISP, SBA and DOB,” to “There’s No Place Like Home.”
Photos by Dan Guarino & Kathy Reardon Savino