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Louisville kickstarts summer with a bash

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LOUISVILLE — The Louisville Arena and the community park were packed this weekend for the annual Louisville Summer Bash.

The summer celebration started with the Lions Club’s ice cream social Friday evening at the Louisville Fire Department and continued on Saturday with an 11 a.m. parade.

Fire trucks, horses and classic cars made their way down Willard Road and up Louisville-Raymondville Road to Thompson Ridge Road, where the procession ended at the arena.

In the park were games, pony rides, bounce houses for children, more than 24 vendors, a chicken barbecue and live music.

“We usually get hundreds of people,” Louisville Town Clerk Joanne H. Cameron said. “It brings the whole community together.”

Ms. Cameron, an event organizer, said the town raises funds for the event throughout the year.

New this year was a giant waterslide provided by BD Entertainment Bounce House Rentals and a growing number of vendors.

Dale L. Clarke is one of those vendors every year. He makes the trip from Watertown with more than 500 sundresses from his business, Sunset Sales.

“These community events bring a lot of different products to the community that they wouldn’t normally see in the local shops,” he said.

The community’s Catholic and Protestant churches partnered at the summer bash to raise money for the Louisville Helping Hands.

Members of the St. Lawrence Catholic Church and the Louisville Community Church ran a concession stand, held a cake contest and raffled off a quilt in donation to the nonprofit organization.

“The money will go to help out people with medical-related travel expenses,” said Joanne E. Hurlbut, member of the Louisville Community Church.

Members of several local fire departments put their firefighting skills to the test in a firematics competition, which consisted of several races.

Lyle N. Funace has been a Louisville Turtle for 30 to 40 years, and before him, his father Lyle W. was one of the first members of the team when the Louisville firematics races originated.

“My grandson does it now too, so we’ve had three generations of firematics racers in the family,” he said.

Saturday’s events ended with a fireworks show in the park.

The summer bash will continue today with a 9:15 a.m. service at the Louisville Community Church followed by a picnic in the park with hot dogs and hamburgers.

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