After skipping a year due to the pandemic, the over 60-year-old Columbus Day parade and high school marching band competition in the City of Binghamton is coming back.

Binghamton Assistant Director for Economic Development, Joel Boyd says 28 units are signed on to participate on Columbus Day, October 11 but due to lingering effects of the COVID pamdemic and other issues in area schools, Boyd says there are only five marching bands scheduled to compete.

WNBF News/Roger Neel File Photo
WNBF News/Roger Neel File Photo

In the past six decades, the event has pitted high school marching bands in several divisions based on district size against each other trying to be the best in marching and musical execution, colorguard and drum major.  Boyd says for some districts, music programs aren’t what they used to be.  COVID is still impacting some other programs and some schools just didn’t have enough time to prepare when the word came down that there would be a parade and competition this year.

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Binghamton, the host school, will have a musical unit on a float while competing bands are confirmed from Williamsport, Athens Pennsylvania, Whitney Point, Union Endicott and Johnson City.

The other groups making up the 28 units confirmed so far for the parade are, of course, the Knights of Columbus, New York State, the Army Corps of Engineering Battalion, New York State Police, municipal police and fire departments, classic car clubs and local professional sports teams.

The parade on Main and Court Streets begins at 10 a-m October 11 to be followed with the Italian Street Festival on Water Street.

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