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This year marks the 30th anniversary of a unique July Fourth tradition. Since 1986 in Willimantic, Connecticut they’ve stepped off without any bands.

There is music but it is courtesy of large boom boxes instead.

You see, back in 1986 the town could not find an available marching band for its annual Memorial Day parade. Organizer Kathy Clark approached the radio station for help. Station officials said it was too late to organize and publicize for that holiday, but began planning with Clark for July Fourth and the tradition was born.

Norman tells the Hartford Courant that the staging area was empty two hours before the parade, but by the time it was ready to start, more than 2,000 people were there, all carrying boomboxes.

Music was provided courtesy of the local radio station.

The thought, he told the Courant, was “It’s good old Connecticut ingenuity,” he said. “Let’s use boomboxes if we can’t have a band. Let’s make do. Let’s invent. Our ingenuity will make it happen.”Now it is 30 years later.Of course, the boombox has been replaced by other devices, but the idea of the boombox parade endures. He said any radio or device with a speaker and a way to access the radio station is welcome.

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