Columbus Day Parade beats the rain as hundreds celebrate Italian heritage

chicago.suntimes.com
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Ron Onesti, president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, said the day was one to remember and a time to celebrate Christopher Columbus and what his accomplishments mean to Italian Americans.
The Columbus Day Parade drew hundreds of proud Italian Americans to downtown celebrating the explorer whose place in history has grown more controversial over the past few years, both nationally and locally.

The 69th annual parade, organized by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, kicked off Monday afternoon, heading south on State Street from Wacker Drive. It ended at Van Buren Street — just before the Chicago area was drenched in rain.

Leading the parade was a motorcade of motorcycles and featured floats from prominent Italian Americans in Chicago. It also included the South Shore Drill Team and marchers and dancers representing other countries, including Thailand, Bulgaria, and Poland — all dressed in traditional clothes.

Grid View Hundreds wave Italian flags as the Columbus Day Parade travels down North State Street in the Loop, Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, 2021. Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Members of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans lead the Columbus Day Parade as it travels down North State Street from East Wacker Drive, Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, 2021. Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Columbus Day Parade travels down North State Street from East Wacker Drive, Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, 2021. Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Members of the Amici Italiani Dance Troupe in Rockford perform on a float in the Columbus Day Parade as it travels down North State Street in the Loop, Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, 2021. Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Columbus Day Parade travels down North State Street in the Loop, Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, 2021. Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Columbus Day Parade travels down North State Street in the Loop, Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, 2021. Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Hundreds wave Italian flags as the Columbus Day Parade travels down North State Street in the Loop, Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, 2021. Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Jesse White Tumblers perform in the Columbus Day Parade as it travels down North State Street in the Loop, Monday…
Manny Ramos
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