CHICAGO (CBS) — The Great Lakes Navy Band lead off the parade as it headed south on State Street. Hundreds line the parade route to see marchers, drum and bugle corps, floats, classic cars and dancers. This year’s theme “Hello Italy”.
“I’m 100 percent Italian so I love this,” said Maria Graham, who was in town for Tennessee.
“I came from Italy when I was 8 years old. I forget it was Columbus Day until this morning and I thought to myself, I hope they have a parade and here we are,” said Graham.
Melissa Styrsky and her family came in from Tinley Park.
“This is our first time but we always go to the Italian American fest in Milwaukee.”
Lisa Getts is in Chicago vacationing from Tampa.
“I did a little research before we got here so I knew this was happening but I was surprised it was going right by our hotel.”
There were 150 units in the parade that began at State and Wacker. Governor Bruce Rauner was also on hand greeting and shaking hands with parade goers.
The Columbus Day Parade celebrates Christopher Columbus and his voyage which was first acknowledged in Illinois in 1963 when it became a legal holiday.