Miss USA Celebrates Her Italian-American Heritage At Columbus Day Parade

NEW YORK, N.Y.—Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011, proudly waved to this year’s spectators at the annual Columbus Day Parade held yesterday along Fifth Avenue. Looking fashionable in a kelly green dress and ivory scarf, Campanella was driven in a blue convertible Maserati during what is considered to be one of the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American culture.

“I’m very proud of my Italian-American heritage so being a part of this parade as Miss USA 2011 was a huge honor for me,” said Campanella. “I grew up in a home where we celebrated our Italian heritage, and some of the memories I cherish the most are the family get-togethers where we shared traditional, home-cooked Italian meals.”

Campanella joined other notable figures, like Pia Toscano (American Idol Favorite) and Grand Marshall Joseph Plumeri, Chairman and CEO of Willis Holding Group. The parade celebrates the spirit of exploration and courage that inspired Christopher Columbus’s 1492 expedition and the important contributions Italian-Americans have made to the United States.

Before winning the Miss USA pageant, Campanella was crowned as Miss New Jersey Teen USA in 2007.

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