NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The New Rochelle City Council and City staff have pulled $10,000 in funding for a planned Memorial Day event at Hudson Park in the wake of a controversial statement posted on Facebook by event organizer Peter Parente.
At the City Council meeting held on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, it was decided to re-allocate a $10,000 commitment to fund an annual Memorial Day event organized by Parente.
The decision to pull Parente’s funding was couched as a response to a recommendation of the New Rochelle Veterans Advisory Committee to provide veterans services rather than provide funds for one single event. In reality, the decision was a response to Parente publishing an angry, vile rant on Facebook in which he appeared to call for killing immigrants, muslims and Democratic presidential candidates.
For many years, Parente organized a Memorial Day Parade, the largest such event in Westchester County. The parade route ended at the City-owned Hudson Park with various patriotic displays, food, drinks and live music. After a dispute with City officials several years ago, Parente created a new event without the parade at Glen Island Park, a County-owned property.
Since January, Parente has been planning to move the event back to Hudson Park. He had begun preliminary discussions with City staff last week. Today, Parente learned that the City is not supportive of an event at Hudson Park. It remains to be seen if Parente will be given a permit for Hudson Park.