CHICAGO (WLS) --Chicago's annual Polish Constitution Day Parade was held Saturday afternoon, traveling along State Street in the Loop for the first time.
Nearly 1 million people in Illinois identify as being of Polish background, and many lined the street to celebrate their heritage.
"We are very proud. We are very proud to be polish," said Magdalena Nowak.
"It's amazing to see so many people come together and be proud of where they came from," said Olaf Lukasiewicz.
Ada Ezlakowska of Des Plaines was queen of the parade. This 125th Chicago parade is in honor of the first democratic constitution in Europe in 1791 and second in the world only to the United States Constitution.
"It feels really great to represent everyone and to show people here in America how great Poland is," Ezlakowska said.
Parade Grand Marshal John Krawiez fought for the Polish Home Army in World War II and survive Auschwitz and Berkinau where he was held as a political prisoner.
"It is recognition for what I did in my life," he said.
The parade began at 11:30 a.m. The route ran from Lake Street to Van Buren. The festivities began with a morning flag raising ceremony in Daley Plaza. The new route provided a bigger stage for the parade, which typically runs along Columbus Drive or Dearborn Street.