CHICAGO (CBS) — Columbus Day is not fit without a parade.

The 65th annual Columbus Day Parade marched down State Street on Monday afternoon.

Christopher Columbus the man is not revered by everyone. Italian Americans know that as well as anyone. WBBM’s Steve Miller reports.

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Columbus Day Parade float 2017. (WBBM/Steve Miller)

And, like Rosemary Ranallo, they have a healthy regard for the truth behind the long-held belief that Columbus discovered America.

“But he did discover – maybe not America – but you know, the area,” Ranallo said.

Marching bands performed throughout the parade. But in the middle of it all is not what you’d expect to hear at a parade.

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Men on stilts for Columbus Day Parade. (WBBM/Steve Miller)

Singer Diva Montell, marked Columbus Day by singing “O Sole Mio.”

“My Italian American heritage has been very proud and very loving and very family-oriented. And this parade means so much to families and being together,” Montell said.

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Singer Diva Montell, marked Columbus Day by singing “O Sole Mio.” (WBBM/Steve Miller)

The Old Neighborhood Italian American Club also marched the parade – and they had a theme.

“Our efforts this year are dedicated to honoring the American flag and all that it stands for,” said club spokesman Anthony Onesto. “Our flag seems to be under attack by dissidence. We think it’s a very poor target. We support the right to be a dissident and to protest as every citizen’s right, but we don’t any way see the justification of dishonoring the flag.”

Organizers said there were more than 150 bands, floats and marchers in the parade.

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