Italian New Yorkers were honored Sunday as officials laid a wreath at the foot of a monument to explorer Christopher Columbus in Manhattan's Columbus Circle.
The holiday, which is formally observed on Monday, pays tribute to all Italian-American immigrants and their descendants.
"On Columbus Day we celebrate the great contributions that Italian-Americans have made to this country. The Department of Sanitation recognizes Italian-Americans and it is a great honor for me to be an honorary marshal," said Department of Sanitation Chief Douglas Marsiglia.
"Today we come here, we join together as Italians and Italian-Americans, to be able to recognize the past, the present and the future of Italians," said Joseph Guagliardo of the National Council of Columbia Associations.
The ceremony at Columbus Circle dates back to the 1920s.
Meanwhile, the 67th Columbus Day Parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. Monday and run up Fifth Avenue from 47th to 72nd Street.
Hailed as the world's largest celebration of Italian-American culture, the parade features floats, bands and music.
Philanthropist Joseph Plumeri will serve as this year's grand marshal.
Street closures will be in effect throughout the day.
There are closures and service changes because of the Columbus Day holiday.
Government offices, courts, and public schools are closed, and there is no mail delivery or garbage or recycling collection.
Alternate-side parking rules are suspended, but meter rules remain in effect.
All subways and buses, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road lines and the Staten Island Ferry will be running on a regular weekday schedule.