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Wed., Oct. 7
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Canton Dairy Festival symbolizes community


CANTON — Kathy M. and James L. Sosebee moved from Arizona to Rensselaer Falls so their family could enjoy the kind of small town spirit symbolized by Saturday’s Dairy Princess Parade and Festival.

“There’s more of a sense of community here,” Mr. Sosebee said.

Mrs. Sosebee said she appreciated the social atmosphere.

“It’s a place where you can meet up and see people you normally don’t have time to see,” she said. “There’s actually grass and trees here. The kids can stay younger and more innocent longer than they can in other places.”

Trent A. Trulock and his wife, Cindy A. Eyler, Canton have come to the festival for the last 15 years as they also appreciate the home-town feeling.

“As my daughter says, everybody is here except for three kids,” Mr. Trulock joked. “She’s been looking forward to it for several weeks.”

Ms. Eyler said she enjoyed the line of floats that had temporarily taken over Main Street.

“I love the parade, the antique tractors,” she said.

The parade featured more than 30 floats representing police agencies, fire and rescue squads, non-profit organizations, businesses, senior citizen groups and residences, the Edwards-Knox Central School marching band, Reality Check, members of gay/straight alliances from Potsdam and Canton, girl scout troops, churches, political candidates, Canton Future Farmers of America, Agri-Mark, North Country Pastured, SUNY Canton, a bagpipe and drum corps from Brockville, and the St. Lawrence Valley Draft Horse Club.

Attendance was down from years past, probably because of dreary weather but the rain stopped for the parade.

“The weather gave us a break,” Mayor David P. Curry said. “I think people have a great time.”

Danielle A. Ward, Adams Center, enjoyed her time in the parade dressed as a clown.

“It’s really fun,” she said. “You get to meet all the kids and hand out stuff to them.”

Ms. Ward came in a group of four clowns led by her grandmother, Bonnie M. Ward, Colton, the organizer of Small Town Clowns, which brings cheer to hospitals, nursing homes and schools.

Mrs. Ward said the group has dwindled over time but she recruited her best friend, Jill M. Deno, Parishville, daughter-in-law, Shirley J. Ward, and grand-daughter for the festival.

“It’s just a fun time for us,” Bonnie Ward said. “We must have handed out one thousand stickers.”

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