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10,000+ People Joined Chicago's Columbus Day Parade Celebrating Italian Heritage Chaired by Vantius Founder

The first state-designated Italian heritage month in Illinois kicked off in October with more than 10,000 people celebrating Chicago’s 71st Columbus Day Parade.
More than a hundred floats, marching bands, and performers of all backgrounds strutted down Chicago’s iconic State Street on October 9 as part of the festivities covered by ABC7 Chicago. This year also marked the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Chicago’s sister city relationship with Milan, Italy. Columbus Day originated more than a hundred years ago as a gesture from the federal government to make amends after Italian-Americans were victims of one of the largest mass lynchings in U.S. history in 1891.
“You could feel the electricity in the air as people of many different nationalities came together to honor the strength of the human spirit we all share and the special cultural flavors of Italy loved by so many,” said Parade Chairman Sergio Serritella, Vantius founder and first-generation Italian-American. “I was humbled by the honor and proud to help preserve our cultural, artisitc, and culinary traditions for the next generation.”
Vantius hosted a float featuring vocalist Colette Hawley. The firm’s partners and team along with clients and their families rode the float and cheered with the crowds lining the parade route. 
Italian sports cars cruised down the streets and tarantella dancers and flag throwers who traveled from Italy performed as part of the celebration.

Vantius also donated a float to the Save Da Hoomans® Campaign and welcomed adoptable dogs from Wright-Way Rescue and It’s a Pittie Rescue along with other furry friends to board the float and spread the word about how to help humanity in a health research campaign from Chicago’s top academic medical centers. The campaign matches the public with health research opportunities they care about the most to speed up the rate of breakthroughs that can improve people’s health.

“Rescuing dogs and humans are both important causes for me and my family,” said Serritella, whose wife and partner helped launch the award-winning campaign. “It was a no-brainer to provide a platform to advance medical innovation and spark so many smiles in the process.”
Columbus Day festivities started with a morning mass officiated by Chicago Bishop Robert Lombardo and a veterans memorial service. Italian heritage month also included a Presidential Ball at the Chicago Cultural Center with Italian dignitaries and a fashion show, live performances by Antonia Bennett, the late Tony Bennett’s daughter, among many other events throughout October. Chicago’s Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and its President, Ron Onesti, spearheaded the month-long celebration.
“I’ve been doing this for the last 35 years, and I couldn’t be more excited about the leadership for the parade,” said Ron Onesti, President of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. “Youth, strength, vigor, passion, we’re so lucky and so glad to have Sergio be part of this.”
Enjoy more moments on the firm’s social media channels @VantiusKnows.