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Parishville readies for 200th birthday bash

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PARISHVILLE - The town of Parishville is a mere 13 days away from turning 200 years old and coordinators are busy trying to make this year’s celebration a rousing success.

The Parishville-Hopkinton Central School will host the community’s Bicentennial Celebration opening ceremony at 7 p.m. March 18 and will include desserts, T-shirts for sale, and a special presentation.

“(Bicentennial Committee member) Bob LaRue will be doing a slideshow and video presentation on both March 18 and 25. March 18 is the actual date of the bicentennial. Parishville officially became a town on March 18 1814,” Historical Association President and Co-Historian Joseph R. McGill said. “(Councilwoman) Shirley Robinson is going to give some remarks to open the evening and then Bob LaRue will play his slide show on the history. The school will also be providing some sort of music whether it is the band or concert group.”

There will also be special bicentennial T-shirts offered at the ceremony, with proceeds benefiting the Historical Association.

Mr. McGill noted that despite the opening ceremony’s middle of the week time slot he is still expecting a solid turnout for the kickoff of the bicentennial. “We talked to the school about what they usually expect on a night like this and they said they usually get around 400 people.”

Though the exact date of the bicentennial is in March, the large majority of the festivities will be taking place during the final weekend in July.

From July 24 to July 26, the small town will feature endless activities for all ages.

“We’ve got quite a lot set up for that weekend. On Friday there’s going to be a chicken barbecue put on by the AmVets. We will also have (another) opening ceremony and a dedication of the interpretive panels on the St. Regis River,” Mr. McGill said. “There will be a block dance down by the town hall. They usually block off that part by the fire station each year, and we have these annually.”

In July 2013, it was announced that at least two interpretive panels would be unveiled in time for the town’s 200th birthday. The displays will include short write-ups as well as photographs, highlighting the history of the town.

Saturday’s schedule will start with a parade at noon, followed by a horse drawn tour of some of the historic houses in Parishville. Mr. McGill reported that the Bicentennial Committee has already received confirmation from four musical groups that will be performing on Saturday, likely in front of the fire station.

“At the firemen’s field on Saturday we will have a lot of food and concessions set up. That is where the parade will end. We also have an antique cars show and a farmer’s market,” Mr. McGill explained. “There will also be a lot going on at the beach on Saturday for the children. We are hoping to have a sand castle competition and are ordering a big blow up water slide for them to use.”

Saturday’s action packed day will also have a 5k walk being coordinated by Councilwoman Kari Tremper and an ice cream social at the beach. The night will conclude with a fireworks display over the St. Regis River.

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