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Block dance, car show set for Saturday

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MASSENA - The downtown corridor from Andrews to Orvis streets will be blocked off Saturday night for the 15th annual Block Dance and Classic Car, Truck and Motorcycle Exhibit.

If past years are any indication, that stretch of Main Street will be loaded with vehicles and people, according to Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michael J. Gleason.

“We had close to 140 cars (last year). We were packed. It’s getting bigger and bigger every year,” he said.

This year’s numbers will likely depend on the weather, Mr. Gleason said.

“There’s a 40 percent chance of rain right now. Hopefully the weather holds off for the cars. The last few years the weather’s been cooperative,” he said.

The downtown corridor will be blocked off to through traffic beginning at 4 p.m., and the event runs from 5 to 9 p.m.

Vehicle owners are encouraged to bring their classic car, truck or motorcycle and set up them up for display.

Visitors will be able to enjoy those vehicles as they walk up and down Main Street, as well as music, food and kid’s activities.

“We’ve got a band playing, Bruce LaShomb and the Boys,” Mr. Gleason said.

There will also be bounce houses that are free for children 12 and under, vendors set up along Main Street, a 50-50 drawing and a Chinese auction.

Cubby T. Clown will be on hand with free balloon animals, and there will also be plenty of food to go around.

“We’ll have the chamber food booth set up in front and the firemen are doing their chicken barbecue. They’ll also have hamburgers and hot dogs,” Mr. Gleason said.

Cape Air has also donated two round-trip tickets to Boston or Albany that will go to lucky winners during the night.

This year’s event is sponsored by the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, Alcoa, Dairy Queen, North Country Savings Bank, SeaComm Federal Credit Union and St. Lawrence Gas.

As it grows, Mr. Gleason they may have to look at expanding beyond Main Street in the future, something they’ve already considered.

“That’s something down the road we’ll definitely look at doing,” he said.

Once the block dance is in the books for the year, the attention will turn to the 2012 Concerts in the Park series at Springs Park.

The schedule includes Senior Moment from 6-8 p.m. July 12, Acoustic Brothers from 5-7 p.m. July 19, Bucket List and Unfinished Business from 5-7 p.m. July 26, Six Foot Midget from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 2, Tas Cru from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 9, the Kenney Family from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 16 and Northbound from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 23.

“We had a few of the people at the Heritage Festival, so that started it off,” Mr. Gleason said.

All concerts are free, and Cape Air is again providing two round-trip tickets to Albany or Boston which will be given away at the Aug. 23 concert.

One concert that’s not on this year’s schedule is the Robert Thompson Blues Bash, which was canceled because of financial constraints. It’s typically held in conjunction with the Independence Day holiday.

“It’s one of those things where we looked at every event and the funding and financing for each of them. That was one we decided we had to cut back on. We decided it was a great event for five years, and now it was time to go in other directions and maximize the money available,” Mr. Gleason said.

He said that was also the impetus behind the cancellation of the annual car, truck and motorcycle show at the Robert Moses State Park in August. In its place, the chamber is partnering with the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and the car club in Malone for the 1st annual Classic Car Show and Elvis Fest scheduled for Aug. 4 at the casino.

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