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56th Annual Columbus Day Parade in Downtown Binghamton

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By Molly Darrow.
The streets are empty now, but this is where the Columbus Day Parade went down earlier. We spoke with local area residents about why this was such a great day for the event.

“Every year we come here, this is a great day today. Sunny, 70 degrees I believe,” said Vestal Resident James Bobal.

In its 56th year, the Mirabito Columbus Day Tournament of Marching Bands Parade is still as vibrant as ever. Thousands of spectators lined the streets of Downtown Binghamton as the event hit its high notes.

“Marching bands are just wonderful. And it’s about the kids. And, you know, there’s a lot less schools with performance marching bands.This is a state-judged tournament and we just want to keep it going,” said president of the Downtown Binghamton Business Association Ron Sall.

This year's parade featured nine high school bands, color guards and drum majors. Groups received awards for their musical performances.

Johnson City was proud to take home first place in the Class A Marching Bands Competition.

“This parade has always been a tradition at our school. We’ve done it for I don’t even know how many years. It’s great to bring these trophies back to our school and have them on display,” said Junior Drum Major for Johnson City Marching Band Jordan Link.

And plenty of Italian pride was on display, off the beaten path, on Water Street. Local organizations hosted a festival serving ethnic delicacies like grilled pizza and eggplant subs.

“Family, of course, then friendship and then food. Those are the big three “f’s” of the Italian heritage,” said Charles Bucci, Sons of Italy member.

Organizers say they hope to continue growing these events each year.