Boom boxes, not bands, highlight Connecticut parade

New London

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut town’s Independence Day parade is featuring boom boxes instead of bands for the 34th straight year.

More than 5,000 people were expected for Willimantic’s annual Boom Box Parade. In what’s become an offbeat tradition, participants and spectators will carry radios all tuned to the same local station, which will provide traditional marching music.

The parade dates to 1986, when the town couldn’t find a marching band for its annual Memorial Day parade. Organizers approached radio station WILI-AM for help. Station officials said it was too late to organize and publicize an event for that holiday, but began planning for July Fourth, and the tradition was born.

Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Joe Courtney marched in the parade on Thursday.

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