Polish Constitution Day Parade returns to Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The 124th annual Polish Constitution Day Parade returned to Chicago Saturday.

Thousands attended the parade, which had a new route because of the NFL's Draft Town. Students from 34 Polish schools marched in the parade.

"Well, we brought the weather from North Carolina, so we made sure there was no lake effect snow today," said Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University.

Coach K, who grew up in Chicago, served as the Grand Marshall of the Polish Constitution Day Parade.

"We open our hands for everybody and want all together and altogether celebration the Polish Constitution Day," said Jan Kopec, Alliance of Polish Clubs.

"It's important for me to show my polish culture and heritage," said Chicagoan Stephanie Gielniewski.

"It's also very important when you emigrate here to keep that culture in your family," said Krystyna Gielniewski.

Chicago is a diverse city and Polish Americans make up one of the largest European American ethnic groups.

Krzyzewski said this city has the second largest community for Polish Americans outside of Poland.

"We come from people who have a lot of pride and want to do well," he said.

The duke coach just won his fifth NCAA championship and has coached the Americans in the Olympics, but Saturday stands out.

"I remember when I grew up on Augusta Blvd., this parade every May, it was a highlight and now to be the Grand Marshall a very big honor."
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