CLEVELAND - It is a day to celebrate all that is Italian as an estimated 35,000 people lined the streets of Cleveland’s Little Italy for the annual Columbus Day parade.
The Italian Sons and Daughters of America and The Northeastern Ohio Italian American Foundation have kept the tradition going, now in its 63rd year.
“These are traditions that you don't want to lose. To keep this kind of thing strong, especially in Little Italy is very, very nice to see,” Lorraine Dodaro of Gates Mills said.
Sandra Pianalto, the former President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, served as Grand Marshall. There was even a sighting of the man credited with discovering America - Christopher Columbus himself.
"Argue. Fight, doesn't matter. We could argue and fight and two minutes later we love each other. That's the great thing about being Italian. And, that's what's it's all about, you celebrate being Italian," Dennis Bellisario, dressed as Christopher Columbus said.
For many, the day would not be complete without some traditional Italian food. But above all, this day and this parade celebrates Italian-American pride and a rich heritage.
"Italian Americans are very, very loyal and dedicated to their families. And this is a day for families to get together and celebrate their heritage together,” Parade Chairman Basil Russo said.