CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Cleveland Columbus Day Parade began at noon Monday to celebrate Northeast Ohio’s Italian culture. 

According to a press release from the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, the parade was held in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood on Mayfield Road. 

The parade had floats, marching bands, city leaders and more!

According to the release, Cleveland’s celebration of Columbus Day dates back to 1920 when several Italian Americans paid homage to their heritage. The parade was then unified after World War II.

“On Columbus Day, Italian Americans pay tribute to our ancestors, and to all walks of life, who arrived in Northeast Ohio and built better lives for their families. Many aren’t aware of this, but Columbus’ parades and statues were used by early Italian Americans to fuel assimilation during a decades-long period of oppression,” ISDA National President and Greater Cleveland Columbus Day Chairman Basil Russo said. “In fact, the first national Columbus Day celebration honoring Italian Americans was held in 1892 in NYC as a way to ease tensions after 11 innocent Italian immigrants were murdered in New Orleans in front of the largest lynch mob ever to assemble on U.S. soil.”