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ABC7 Chicago celebrates Italian American Heritage Month with the Columbus Day Parade

CHICAGO (WLS) – ABC7, Chicago’s most watched television station, celebrated the city’s vibrant Italian-American community by broadcasting the 69th annual Columbus Day Parade.

The hour-long event was moderated by ABC7 Windy City Weekend presenters Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini. They were joined in the broadcast booth by Anthony Rago, board member of the Italian American Human Relations Foundation, who provided commentary. The parade aired on Monday, October 11th at 1pm and was also available on abc7chicago.com and ABC7’s connected TV apps. October is the month of the Italian-American heritage.

WATCH: Chicago Columbus Day Parade organizer shares tradition and controversy

“We’re so proud to partner with ABC 7 again,” said Ron Onesti, president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. “The Columbus Day Parade is a generation old tradition that celebrates the contribution of Italians to this great country.”

WATCH: Columbus Day Parade Part 1

After a 2020 absence due to the pandemic, the parade, produced by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, was proud to start again from iconic State Street and Wacker Drive. The 2021 theme, “Columbus and the American Dream,” recalls how Italian-American and other immigrants worked to create a better life in America. The memory of the late Jasper B. Sanfilippo, a businessman who supported Italian-American initiatives and charities throughout his life, was honored this year. His five children, co-chairs of the parade, led the march line in honor of their father.

WATCH: Columbus Day Parade Part 2

Proud Italian-American celebrities featured this year included Chicago’s own The Buckinghams, Danny Seraphine, the band’s original drummer, and tenor Pasqaule Esposito. The renowned Jesse White Tumblers were again part of the 2021 celebrations, which included marching bands, floats and dignitaries.

WATCH: Columbus Day Parade Part 3

More than 15 different ethnic groups took part in the parade, representing the diverse fabric of Chicago.

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