Monday, October 10, 2011

Binghamton's Columbus Day Parade

Binghamton really gets into its Columbus Day Parade, which is held every Columbus Day Monday (to me, Columbus Day will always be October 12) downtown in the late morning.  A colored line is painted down the street.  People turn out to see the highlight of the parade, which is a competition between all of the area high school area marching bands and color guards.  There are a lot of high schools in this area and they march one by one, viewed by friends, families and passer bys. After the parade a winner is announced and then all the students and their families enjoy outdoor food from food booths set up on one side of our small downtown. (It's supposed to be an Italian festival - I'll hesitate to pass judgement on that.)

Ironically, because I have to be working, I am only able to view the tail end of the parade and some years I have missed it all together.  Last year I watched the last few minutes with my walking companion.  Her grand kids aren't quite ready for school but she has lived here all of her life, and really enjoys it.

We won't be enjoying it this year though, because the parade has been cancelled, the volunteer help needed for flood cleanup. In a way, it's too bad.  The floods struck on the first day of school, and many of these students' lives were disrupted - either being forced into shelters or into living with relatives, or knowing friends in that situation. (about 1/3 of Binghamton was under an evaculation order at one point).  Schools in some districts didn't start up again for nearly a week (or more).  One elementary school in Binghamton is still closed, its students attending other Binghamton schools.

Having a routine is so important to young people (really, to all of us).  I wish something else could have been worked out but I understand.


  1. Too bad the parade had to be canceled. I understand the need for volunteers to put their energy elsewhere, but it seems like that and the street fair might have been a boost in morale for people.

    I wonder if some schools held school today to make up for some of the missed days in September. Thanks to Irene's winds cutting out power, my kids missed their whole first week of school, Aug. 29-Sep. 1, and they missed half a day the week of the Lee flooding for fear of flash flooding in streams around here (we're pretty far from the Susquehanna, so that wasn't an issue.)

    It's so hard to fathom a situation bad enough that renders a school unfit for opening for a whole month!

  2. Sorry to hear how much the floods are still affecting the area. I can't imagine those kids being dispersed to different schools... what a disruptive year. A little parade fun might have been nice, but it's understandable the priorities for the area. Still...


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