WILLIMANTIC -- The Boom Box parade brought out hundreds of parade-goers, some who came out for the first time.
Not one inch of main street in Willimantic was empty and all spots were filled with families, tourists, and pets coming out for the famed boom box parade.
Rachel Beausoleil said, “Actually been before and we’ve lived in town for like 5 years, usually i’m working so i was really excited to check it out.. it’s been awesome.”
Governor Ned Lamont went to multiple parades, but says the Boom Box parade took on a life of its own.
Lamont said, “Everybody’s pumped up, there is something in the water here, i don’t know what it is, but don’t miss the Boom Box parade next year.”
James Bellano is the director of economic development for the town of Windham that hosts the parade and said, “This parade has been a staple for so many years to keep kind of an anchor in this community as years go forward you’re going to see a lot of other activity on main street and not just the parade it’s very exciting.”
Beyond the parade some say now is also a good time to reflect on the meaning behind the celebration.
Xavier Milling said, “It means independence is a day where we can all come together and celebrate and kind of come to understand each other a little bit more, just have the day to be relaxed.”
Bellano said, “A lot of nations have similar holidays, like labor day and a memorial day, but this is unique to us and nobody does it better than here in Windham.”
Others hope the next generation will learn and appreciate the history behind the 4th of July to some day help their community work towards a brighter future.
Shawn Wooden who is the state treasurer said, “Despite all of the bickering, especially what we have in Washington, despite all of that we have a long and great history and we have a bright future in this country and despite everything that is happening you know we are Americans and that means something in terms of our values.”