CHICAGO (Oct. 9, 2017) — Gov. Rauner joined other dignitaries and elected officials in leading the 65th anniversary of the Columbus Day Parade, celebrating Christopher Columbus’ voyage to America and Italian-American culture. This year’s parade theme was “Columbus Around the World.”
The parade is sponsored by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) and Teamsters Joint Council 25. It featured more than 150 floats, bands and other marching units. Gisselle Castillo-Veremis, the Dominican Republic’s consul general in Chicago, served as this year’s parade grand marshal. The parade went along State Street, starting at Wacker Drive and ending at Van Buren Street.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Illinois has the seventh largest population of Italian Americans.
“This parade is a wonderful testament to our vibrant Italian-American community here in Illinois,” said Rauner. “They, like other immigrant communities, have come from all over the world and continue to discover ways to help America and Illinois grow and prosper. I’m proud to be here today, celebrating and honoring those achievements.”