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A 4th of July tradition in Willimantic: The Boom Box Parade

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WILLIMANTIC - Red, White and Boom Box.

The Fourth of July is the foremost holiday in Willamantic, and, on Main Street in this historic town, the 2016 edition of the Boom Box Parade didn't disappoint.

The parade celebrated both 1776, honoring the Independence Day holiday and 1986, the year they first marched, with boomboxes in hand.

"Marching bands started to die down," said Tara Calixto, a parade organizer who provided insights in the beginning of the boombox tradition. "The idea was for one of our local radio stations (WILI radio) to play marching band music and everyone would bring their boomboxes -- when booms were super popular."

"This parade means independence, people able to celebrate their independence," said parade grand marshal and WILI-AM radio host Wayne Norman.

"This parade - this great holiday - has a special meaning for the warriors and the servicemen and women away from their families and we ought to celebrate and thank them," said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

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Photo by Paul Canavan

"I like to see how the whole community is together and everyone is just out here to have a good time and celebrate the boombox!" said  Daniel Holloway from Hamden, marching along Main Street, boom box in tow.