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You never know how things are going to turn out. I went downtown yesterday for the sole purpose of doing some photography in and around the Chicago Art Institute and got sidetracked by the Polish Constitution Day Parade.

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The parade, in honor of the Polish Constitution of May 3 1791, is an annual event in Chicago and is the largest Polish parade outside of Poland, drawing thousands of people who come to celebrate their national heritage. The sight of all those red and white flags flying in the breeze drew my attention away from the job at hand and I wandered off down Columbus Drive to see what was happening.

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There was an added air of excitement in the crowd, the event following so soon after Pope John Paul’s canonization and indeed this seemed to be the theme for this year’s parade.

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Almost everyone, spectators and participants, wore red and white, and some were dressed in national costume. Thankfully the weather was in full cooperation and the sun shone nearly all day.

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Among those of note who were attending the parade was United States Senator Mark Kirk who returned to work in Washington at the beginning of 2013 after suffering a severe stroke in 2012.

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Floats, motorbikes, cars and carriages eventually made their way down Columbus Drive but I took several of these shots as the different organizations assembled earlier in the morning.

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