ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) –  Residents in Rome wait eagerly all year for the last Saturday in July. It’s the day when thousands come together for the Honor America Days Celebration.

"Community pride, patriotism, those are the things that happen in our community and we're just so excited that it's going to be taking place tomorrow," said William Guglielmo, President of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce.

They’re expecting about 15,000 people to fill the city. It all starts off with the two-mile parade featuring marching bands, drum corps and the Veteran Corps.

And while everyone gathers to celebrate the old, you can expect some things that are new too! The chairman of the Honor America Days Committee said they added some extra surprises to celebrate the 30 year anniversary.

“We have a Jumbotron down here and we're going to have a sing-along that will be all patriotic music like, ‘America the Beautiful,’ ‘My Country ‘tis of Thee,’ ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ and then the 1812 Overture with fireworks,” said Jackie Izzo, Chairman of the Honor America Days.

The symphony will be held at the Fort Stanwix National monument. The celebration marks the same time of year that the fort was attacked in 1777. Historians say without this area, the country may have turned out a lot differently.

“This fort never surrendered. It held its ground. It was here during the American Revolution, it refused to let the British advance to the Mohawk Valley and these men started everything moving forward to allow us to have the country we have today,” said Daniel Umstead, a park ranger.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. July 27 on North James Street. The live music starts at the fort at 8 p.m. followed by fireworks. The rain date is Sunday, July 28.

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