Port Chester's local Columbus Day celebration is today, with the Rev. Gerald Washington, pastor of the Bethesda Baptist Church, leading the way as Grand Marshal.
The parade was originally set to take place last Sunday, Oct. 7, but was moved to today, Oct. 14, because of weather conditions.
The Columbus Day Celebration Committee has events planned that kick off at 9 a.m., leading up to the 1 p.m. parade. The committee has been organizing and operating the parade since 1905.
- Wreath Laying 9 a.m. at Columbus Park.
- Flag Raising 9:15 a.m. Liberty Square, corner of North Main Street and Westchester Avenue.
- Parade 1:00 p.m.
Participants gather at Hawthorne Avenue, Rye Brook.
Marchers will be walking East along Westchester Avenue.
The arade will end on New Broad Street, Port Chester.
The Grand Marshal of the 2012 parade is the Rev. Gerald Washington, pastor of the Bethesda Baptist Church. A dinner dance in honor of Rev. Washington took place Saturday, Oct. 6, at T & J's Trattoria, 223 Westchester Ave., Port Chester.
About Rev. Washington:
He is the son of the late Rev. Robert T. and Edna Washington, former pastor of First Lady of Family Baptist Church, the Bronx. He attended the public schools of New Rochelle graduating in 1955. He then went on to attend and graduate from N.Y. School of the Bible in Manhattan. He also attended Columbia University the College of New Rochelle as well as the N.Y. Theological Seminary.
Rev. Washington is a U.S. Navy veteran, serving on the U.S.S. Murray DDE 576 and attaining the rank of Yeoman before being honorably discharged. He was awarded the Good Conduct medal, the National Defense Medal and the European Occupation medal.
Rev. Washington is the Pastor of the Bethesda Baptist Church and is employed as a teacher by the Port Chester School District. He also has been appointed the coordinator of Black History Programs within the district.
Rev. Washington's ministry extends well beyond the walls of Bethesda. He founded the Ward Summer Institute, a program designed to help at risk students during the summer. This program enrolls over one hundred students.
He us currently the president of the Ministerial Council of Port Chester and Greenwich, CT. He also coordinates the Port Chester Martin Luther King Jr. annual celebrations and has done so since the national holiday was established in 1986. He serves on the Port Chester Board of Ethics and is the chaplain to the Port Chester Police Department.
He started and sponsored the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot that benefits the American Red Cross. In 1996, he was selected to carry the prestigious Olympic torch, an honor not only for him, but to his family, church and community as well.
Rev. Washington and his wife Cheryle have three daughters and one son. Lovely, a teacher at Edison School, April, a recent graduate from Queens College, Ebony, a student at Manhattanville College and Jeremiah, a sophomore at the Rye Country Day School.
Rev. Washington also has two sons from a previous marriage: Rev. Gerald Washington Jr., Assistant Pastor of Bethesda Baptist Church and David, an executive with Verizon.