Italian culture center stage this Columbus Day

By Matt Porter

October 14, 2013 Updated Oct 14, 2013 at 9:08 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Italian community hosted an Italian festival to celebrate Italian culture and history in Binghamton.

Clint Puzo, of Conklin, comes every year and said the community always does a great job.

"The atmosphere, the color, the music, everything about it is great, really great," Puzo said.

Hundreds of volunteers from the Abruzzese social club, the men’s and women’s Sons of Italy Lodges and St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church served grilled pizza, pulled pork sandwiches, and homemade Italian desserts downtown after the Columbus Day parade.

Volunteers and festival goers said they're glad the city takes the day to celebrate Italy and the immigrants who came to the United States.

Jaylen Bennett, this year's Miss Abruzzese, said she's in awe.

"I think it's pretty amazing that people like to celebrate their culture and come out and tell people how Italians came to be and everything," Bennett said.

Brian Tierno, of Binghamton, bought his young daughter an Italian cake because her grandmother is out of town.

He's happy to have the chance to show his daughter a little bit of Italy.

"It's love for our heritage, what we've done for our nation, and teaching our little ones about it," Tierno said.