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41st annual Can-Am Festival to continue today

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SACKETS HARBOR — More than food, crafts and family fun, the annual Can-Am Festival held this weekend emphasized the friendship between the United States and Canada.

Educating people about the relationship between the allies will make that friendship thrive, organizers said.

“Because we work so closely with Canadians, we’re always working for that cross-border understanding and shared cultures,” said Constance B. Barone, the site manager for the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site.

That has been the effort since the War of 1812, when Upper Canada was a part of the British Empire. Continuing to educate about the war and the history between the nations, Mrs. Barone said, will ensure the friendship flourishes.

Mrs. Barone said the village’s battlefield site will have a monument made for the Crown Forces who were killed at the second battle of Sackets Harbor on May 29, 1813, and who are buried on the battlefield in an unknown grave. A groundbreaking will occur Aug. 4, with representatives from the Canadian Forces and the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

There were hints of the nations’ history throughout the festivities. As the parade made its way to West Main Street, world champion town crier Chris Whyman, Kingston, Ontario, read a proclamation for the festival.

“This year we also recognize 200 years of peace between our two great nations,” he said.

Throughout the hourlong parade there were marching bands, individuals and groups from throughout the north country and Canada.

Saturday’s events included food vendors, a book sale, craft fair, wine garden and farmers’ market, children’s activities, concerts, a play and fireworks.

Alison I. Newton attended the event with her husband, Gary S., and daughter, Avery L.

“It’s a nice family event,” Mrs. Newton said. “We have a 3-year-old and she loves the parade.”

The festival continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today throughout the village and includes a craft fair, food vendors, live entertainment, an old-time baseball game and a soapbox derby.



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