By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Drill teams, drum lines and civic clubs marched down South Broad Street Sunday to celebrate Columbus Day.

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The Delaware valley boasts an Italian American population of 865,000 people, and it seemed like a good portion of them were out for the 55th annual Columbus Day Parade & Italian Festival.

It almost goes without saying, that the streets were packed with folks looking on and cheering.

“‘m enjoying the culture, the food and the beverage, and the beautiful women,” this man said.

From the old to the young, onlookers couldn’t get enough of the festivities

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“This is the first time I’ve been in the front of a parade ever and I’m just enjoying it,” this young parade-goer said.

“My favorite part is that everyone comes out with their homemade food and wine and it’s fun to just try everything,” parade attendee Martina said.

She is from Trieste, Italy, and says while Columbus Day isn’t a big deal back home, events like this do make her a little home sick:

“There was the flag from my native city in the first batch of walkers, so it’s just exciting to see the flags and the spirit here.”

The parade and festival offered onlookers a chance to learn about Italian American heritage as well as try some traditional Italian foods, like prosciutto and provolone, as well as American favorites like pizza and spaghetti.

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