It’s Fernet-Branca shots, Peronis, and parade floats all around on Sunday, as the “oldest continuously running Italian heritage parade” in America returns to North Beach, amid another weekend chock-full of activities.

Unless you’ve been living under a pair of noise-canceling headphones the last 24 hours, you know that Fleet Week is back in town for the weekend. But that’s not the only big traditional to-do this weekend, as North Beach will once again be hosting the Italian Heritage Festival & Parade on Sunday, to render the neighborhood and its streets in a sea of green and red.

"This is our 154th parade,” the parade’s president Bill Mastrangelo tells KPIX in the preview video above. “It started in 1869. We are one of the longest continuously running parades on the west coast."


It’s the same parade route as it has been in most recent years. Per the official route announcement, “The Parade begins at 12:30 p.m. at the foot of Jefferson and Powell Streets in Fisherman’s Wharf, proceeds south through North Beach on Columbus Avenue and ends in Washington Square in front of Saints Peter and Paul Church. Parade viewing is available throughout the entire route."


And we have some sort of Fernet-Branca promotion! Though it appears it’s just encouragement to do a shot at each of the above-named North Beach bars. Can you do nine shots of Fernet over the course of the day? They want you to!

This does of course mean street closures and Muni reroutes. SFMTA has a full list of parade closures and Muni reroutes, and notably, The F Market and 30 Stockton have some significant reroutes in effect.

And yes, this is the former Columbus Day Parade, though they dropped that name in 1994, long before it was cool to do so. The parade does retain the tradition and naming of a “Queen Isabella and her royal court,” named for Isabella I of Castile who paid for Columbus’ famous/infamous voyage. Though ironically, Queen Isabella was Spanish, not Italian.

And as a related reminder, kids are off school Monday for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Related: Parades are Back, as Italian Heritage Parade Returns to North Beach in October [SFist]

Image: Geri Koeppel via Hoodline