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Key Club walking in the Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade

Key Club Represents The High School In The Annual Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade

The Key Club represented Nutley High School at the Annual Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade on Sunday, October 9, hosted by the Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade and Italian Heritage Month Committee. Some of the other activities that Key Club hosts are the annual Blood Drive which takes place at the high school and pumpkin painting at the Nutley Museum.


Participants attended a 9 a.m. Flag-Raising Ceremony at Belleville Town Hall, 152 Washington Avenue and a wreath laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Nutley Municipal Building, 1 Kennedy Drive. Following these events, marchers lined up for the parade at noon at Belleville High School, and began the parade at 1:30 p.m.. After their departure from Belleville High School, the participants marched west on Joralemon Street and pursued north to the John H. Walker Middle School viewing stand in Nutley, on Franklin Avenue. 


There were many participants in the parade that had a lot to do to prepare for the day’s festivities. Key Club Vice President junior Elizabeth DeSantis said, “Prior to the parade, I had to get the banner that states 'Nutley Key Club' from one of my advisors in order for us to be represented. Marcella and Morgan (two other advisors) helped with the organizing which was making sure everything was set before walking in the parade. That day, I kept the attendance for the club, which was then sent to my advisors.” DeSantis added that Key Club was the only high school club that participated in the parade. 


DeSantis was pleased with the number of townspeople who came out to see the parade. She said, “Overall, there was a good turnout from the parade. The kids on the sidewalk wanted candy and everyone was smiling. The attendance was okay. I wish more members showed up because it is a great opportunity to get involved and get an activity for it in the club. It also was super quick and simple to do. Key Club is about caring and helping the community. It's important for people to get involved within the club as it can be applied in life even after high school.” 


Key Club Secretary and senior Marcella Blancato said, “I am a Key Club secretary for this year which entails keeping track of the minutes at club meetings and collecting information about the club to report back to the main organization.” Marcella also had a few responsibilities before the parade. She said, “Overall, we didn’t have to do much. We needed to spread the word amongst club members to increase attendance, and once they arrived at the parade we noted their names so that they could get credit for attending.” 


Blancato said that the objective of Key Club is to care for others, to become more involved within the Nutley community, and to be a role model for everyone around. She said, “Key Club walks in the parade to connect with the community, as one of the main pillars of this club is to reach out and help support society through volunteering our time and effort. We want to display to the community that we truly care about the work that we do.” 


Aside from Key Club, there were two students from the Italian Honor’s Society participating in the parade. There were also many small businesses people riding on the floats. She said, “Two NHS students who are a part of the Italian Honors Society gave speeches about their Italian heritage. Various local businesses and companies were being promoted on floats that played music.”


The participating Key Club members noted the excitement of the day. Blancato said, “The setting was upbeat as many people young and old were coming together to celebrate something while being in each other’s company after the past few years of isolation due to the pandemic.”