THE BRONX - The Bronx's 39th annual Columbus Day Parade was held Sunday afternoon.

Thousands marched and watched the mile-long parade down Morris Park Avenue.

Marching bands and floats filled the streets with music, celebrating Italian heritage.

Although Columbus may have been from Italy, parade organizer Tony Signorile says this march is for a nation of immigrants who come from around the world.

"I want all immigrants to be happy because we're only here for one, to better ourselves, to learn English and to have a good job, that this country really gives us the opportunity to do that," says Signorile.

The grand marshal of the parade was Mario Cilento, a son of Italian immigrants and a Bronx native.

Cilento says he remembers watching the parade when he was 10 years old.

"It's always symbolized family, how important it is to the upbringing not only of the children or relatives but the greater family of community and your neighbors," says Cilento.