Old Home Days kicks off with parade

Williamsville, N.Y. (WKBW) - "I got home from work, changed my clothes and rolled on up."

Fun seekers of all ages, anxious to kick off another one of Western New York's most celebrated festivals.

"Old Home Days started out for a means for people to get back together after high school," Jolly Boys member, Bob Alessi said.

And with the sound of sirens, the parade officially kicked off Old Home Days.

"The biggest parade out of the year," Williamsville resident, Kevin Johnston.

Hundreds looked on cheering as businesses, dance troupes and fire trucks came down Main Street.  Life-long resident, Kevin Johnston, comes out just about every year.

"I say a while, but I've kind of lost how many times I've been up here."

And although, first timers Kiana and Kiara Humphrey were excited to watch parade goers.

"Mmhmm," Kiara said.

They were already thinking about heading back to the carnival rides as soon as it was over.

"I went on the 'Tornado' 50 times without throwing up!" Kiara shared.

While some may not take a spin on the 'Tornado,' people certainly flooded into Island Park after the parade to win some prizes, eat lots of ice cream and listen to live music.

The Jolly Boys of Williamsville see the festival as more than just food, fun and rides.  They have been fundraising as a nonprofit through tip jars at the event since 1976.

"It's not really a town event, it's a Jolly Boy event."

As a village resident for 15 years, Village Trustee Matthew Etu has seen serious changes around town.

"It's really developed very progressively, very positively," he said.

And hundreds more are expected to come out to continue the celebrations.

"It's a really great opportunity to reconnect with your community, your neighbors and have some fun," Etu added.

You'll have the opportunity to ride the fun slide all the way through Friday.

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