BINGHAMTON, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) The Belmar Pub was so inspired by one booklover’s enthusiasm, they worked to create a new local holiday to celebrate his favorite novel.
On September 1 at 7 p.m., the Belmar Pub will be hosting the first annual Thirty-three Cecils Day in honor of Everett De Morier’s book by the same name. The event will be a celebration of life, Binghamton, and the story behind the new holiday. There will be food, drinks, and door prizes as well as a book signing and visit from the author and publisher. The event is said to be the center for great conversation, and all are welcome to attend.
Last year, on September 1, 2022, a man named Mike Pedley visited the Belmar for the first time. Pedley said he waited to visit the bar until that very day because it was the date when the main characters in his favorite novel, Thirty-three Cecils, had died. The book has many references to Binghamton, as De Morier is a former resident of the city, and the characters frequented the Belmar.
According to Jennifer James, the manager of the Belmar, Pedley ordered a beer and started talking to the bar patrons about the book. She recalls him saying to her, “I know it’s a novel, but it always seemed real to me.” James was so impressed by Pedley’s love for the book and appreciation for the Belmar, she took a picture of his and sent it to the De Morier with the caption, “Happy Cecils Day.” Upon receiving the photo, De Morier didn’t know what James was talking about but once he realized, he was amazed.
De Morier got in touch with Pedley, and later told the story to Tara Tomczyk, Editor-in-chief of Blydyn Sqaure Books, the company that published the novel. Tomcyzk thought Pedley’s pilgrimage to the bar was incredible and said it needed to be celebrated. She and De Morier came up with the event, later pitching it to Belmar Pub owner Ed Hickey, who loved the idea.
Now, a year later, Thirty-three Cecils Day will commence as an annual holiday and celebration in honor of Pedley’s passion for the book that brought him to Binghamton.
Thirty-three Cecils is a true crime and mystery novel set in 1992. The novel has won top fiction prizes at the London Book Festival and has been a required text for high school and university students. It is currently being developed as a major motion picture by Sunset River Productions, who plan to shoot the film in Binghamton.