It may be a day to celebrate Italian heritage around the region, but for some area high school marching bands, the 54th annual Columbus Day Parade was their time to shine. Our Elyse Mickalonis brings us the sights and sounds of the parade.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It’s the biggest day for area marching bands.
"It's so much fun. I look forward to it every year. It's fun to see our fans out there and the other bands,” said Chelsea Burdick, a Johnson City HS senior.
On Monday, thousands of people gathered to celebrate the 54th Annual Columbus Day Tournament of Bands Parade and Italian Festival. And while the day was dedicated to everything Italian, the music stole the show.
"It’s the marching bands. They make it the coolest parade ever. I love seeing the bands,” said Bob Crissman, a Chenango Valley resident.
Salka Valerio, a Binghamton resident, added, "Getting to see the instruments, seeing someone playing them and seeing that there are people who still enjoy playing music."
Nine bands competed this year, all hoping to be able to call themselves champions by the end of the day.
"It takes a few weeks to practice and just get the hang of things,” said Burdick.
Dazriel Rivera, a Johnson City HS junior, added, "We have to have time management to have enough time to practice and when we practice, we have to work as hard as we can."
But for many, the passion goes beyond winning.
"It's a family. There's love and even though people fight, you still come together. It's the music, it's just in your heart. You can’t get away from that,” said Cassandra Domingo, a Johnson City HS junior.
Band members say they love sharing their talents with the community and a beat that truly comes from the inside.