Boom Box Parade has 37 years of history in Willimantic

Boom Box Parade held in Willimantic
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 4:55 PM EDT
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WILLIMANTIC, CT (WFSB) - An Independence Day tradition lives on in Willimantic.

It all has to do with boom boxes, as hundreds march through town.

Eyewitness news learns about the 37-year history of the Boom Box Parade.

You can not only see the pride here Willimantic with all the American flags and people marching down Main Street, but you can hear it too.

Not just the fire trucks, but also the boom boxes.

A 37-year tradition in Willimantic makes this parade unique.

It’s party time in Willimantic.

“This is the kind of thing that brings people together.”

That means showing off your American flags, your red, white and blue, but especially your boom box.

“It’s the best parade in the state, probably the best parade in the country,”

Everyone’s boom boxes are turned to 1400 AM.

Wilimantic’s radio station, WILI, plays marching band classics as hundreds walk from Jillson Square to Memorial Park.

People in town believe it’s the largest boom box parade in the world.

“We have some that have been 2 hours I’m betting we exceed that this year.”

Willimantic Mayor Tom DeVivo gave us a history lesson.

37 years ago, the local high school needed to make budget cuts, which resulted in no more band.

When it came time for the July 4th parade, WILI stepped up and offered to play music during the event.

It only works if everyone brings a boom box.

“We really do work and stick together. We are very American here. We do love our country,” said DeVivo.

What better way to celebrate then to literally be a boom box.

Keith Rice was at the first parade in 1986.

“It should all be about love and hopefully the boom box parade, the 37th edition was able to help with that,” said Rice.

You can tell how much people care about this parade.

A big part of this is actually getting the boomboxes.

You see so many had them.

But they’re hard to find now in 2022.

Some said they went on Amazon to buy them, ordered them and ship it quickly just to get here in time for the parade.