(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Around the nation, thousands of people are celebrating Columbus Day with a host of events and parades in major cities and states.
In the Windy City of Chicago, Ill., the Chicago Columbus Day Parade kicks off Monday at 12 p.m. Sponsored by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, the annual parade will have a litany of things for parade-goers to enjoy, including floats, flag groups, marching bands and the coronation of the annual Columbus Day Queen.
The parade will start on Columbus Drive and head from Balbo Drive to Monroe Street.
In New York, more than 35,000 people are expected to pack midtown Manhattan as the 69th Annual Columbus Day Parade kicks off at 47th Street and proceeds all the way up Fifth Avenue until it ends at 72nd Street.
The parade, organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation, will benefit the foundation's $2 million annual pledge that goes towards scholarships for students.
The parade was supposed to feature the West Point marching band, but due to the government shutdown, the band will be unable to participate in Monday's events.
"The cancellation of the West Point Marching Band in the 69th annual Columbus Day Parade, which we learned about officially only on Friday, October 11, three days before the parade, was every bit as regrettable for the Band as it was for us," said Frank Fusaro, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation in a statement.
"The Band is made up of active-duty soldiers who are also virtuosos from across the United States. Historically, and for over two centuries, the Band's members have been ambassadors of our country. It is very regrettable that for reasons unrelated to their professionalism and commitment to our country that they are unable to perform on Fifth Avenue this Columbus Day," he added.
Live Streaming of the New York City parade can be seen at http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/live.