Join the Celebration: The Polish Constitution Day Parade

April 13, 2016

Did you know that the Polish Constitution was the second democratic constitution in the world (the first was the U.S. Constitution), and that it was the very first constitution in Europe? Every year, thousands line the streets of Chicago for a lively and colorful parade honoring Poland’s Constitution Day.

This year, the celebration of the Polish Constitution of 1791 will be held on Sat., May 7 and steps off at 11.30 a.m. on a new route along State Street, from Lake Street to Van Buren Street. Prior to the parade, there will be a raising-of-the-flag ceremony on Daley Plaza on Tues., May 3 at 10 a.m., and again on the day of the parade at 9 a.m.

This parade, the largest of its kind outside of Poland, honors and celebrates Polish pride in a long-held tradition. The first Chicago parade took place in 1892 in Humboldt Park, which at that time, was in the heart of Polish downtown. After World War II, the parade route switched to downtown.

Chicago boasts the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw. Last year’s parade crowd was estimated at 250,000 people, with hundreds of thousands more watching it on local and Polish television.