BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – The City of Binghamton is continuing to celebrate today’s holiday as Columbus Day.

Mayor Jared Kraham hosted a raising of the Italian flag outside of City Hall this morning to begin festivities.

Tri-Cities Opera tenor Felix Tomlinson sang the classic Italian song “O Sole Mio.” While many other communities across the country have shifted to referring to today as Indigenous People’s Day in honor of those who were already here when Christopher Columbus first traveled to the Western Hemisphere, Binghamton continues its tradition of honoring the explorer’s Italian heritage.

Attorney Carman Garufi of Garufi Law is a sponsor of today’s parade and subsequent Italian Street Festival. He says he’s proud of Binghamton for not turning its back on Columbus as many other communities have.

“Columbus continued to be an inspiration to Italian Americans. His sense of adventure, sense of opportunity, risk-taking and belief in God when he made his trips across an unknown ocean, inspired Italian Americans in the last century to come to America. They came with little or nothing but their belief in the opportunity that America presented and their belief in God,” said Garufi.

Garufi says his grandfather came to the United States with only a 6th grade education to make a better life for his children and their offspring.

Following the flag raising, a number of local Italian Americans walked over to the domed Courthouse lawn where they hung a wreath on the bust of Christopher Columbus.