Bill de Blasio excluded from Columbus Day festivities

October 12, 2020 

Mayor Bill de Blasio was excluded from participating in New York's major Columbus Day event Monday, The Post has learned.

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The head of the Columbus Citizens Foundation confirmed that de Blasio was not invited to speak at this year's alternative event to the Columbus Day parade that was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The foundation's virtual "2020 Columbus Citizens Foundation Italian Heritage & Achievement Special" event was televised on WABC-TV from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

"No he wasn't invited," said Angelo Vivolo, chairman of the foundation that hosts the annual Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue, and this year's virtual event.

"Tight schedule. No interior motive," Vivolo said.

Vivolo said de Blasio was invited to march at previous Columbus Day parades.

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Tensions between members of the Columbus Citizens Foundation and de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, exploded last year after City Hall failed to include Mother Frances Cabrini -- the beloved Italian-American patron saint of immigrants -- on its list of famous women to be honored with statues as part of first lady's "She Built NYC" program. Mother Cabrini had received the most nominations from the public.

Following the controversy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last Columbus Day that he would erect a statue honoring Mother Cabrini with state funds.

The foundation named Cuomo the grand marshal of this year's Columbus Day festivities.

The governor unveiled the Cabrini statue in Battery Park City during a live press conference that opened the special televised event that also included a performance by Andrea Bocelli and appearances by Joe Piscopo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, among others.

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City Hall downplayed the snub.

"The Mayor is out of state visiting family today so he would not have been able to attend," said de Blasio spokesman Bill Neidhart.

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