CHICAGO (WBBM) – Thousands of people lined Columbus Drive for Chicago’s annual Polish Constitution Day parade.

Polka bands played on flatbed trailers, which dancers parading behind. A number of those marching hailed the action taken a week ago by the Raman Catholic Church to beatify Pope John Paul Second, which places the late pontiff one step from sainthood. One float had a giant picture of John Paul, with the legend, “John Paul the Great.”

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Members of Polish-American fraternal organizations and children’s clubs marched, many decked out in the colors of the Polish flag — red and white. One police sergeant even wore a red-and-white checkerboard band on his hat instead of the regulation blue-and-white band.

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It seemed that as many of those lining Columbus Drive spoke Polish as English, both young and old.

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All things Polish drew cheers from the crowd — even a group of dog lovers parading their Polish lowland sheep dogs.