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Norwood to celebrate 4th with lawn mower racing

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NORWOOD — It’s going to be a noisy holiday in the village Friday with the annual Fourth of July lawn mower races to raise money for the fire department.

The Northern New York Lawn Mower Racing Association has been racing in towns around St. Lawrence County for 12 years, with all proceeds going to each town’s fire department. Friday’s race is the biggest one of the year and will be held at “the Swamp,” or Norwood’s firemen’s field.

“It’s the best track in Northern New York,” association Vice President David J. Denny said. “It’s a great family event.”

Mr. Denny said he expects upwards of 60 mowers in Friday’s event.

“We race every Sunday in a different town from June to the end of September,” Mr. Denny said. “We’ve raced for different benefits, but 95 percent is for the fire departments of St. Lawrence County.”

Lester I. Crump is one of the founders of the association. He said it raises $2,000 to $5,000 a race, depending on where it’s held. Overall, it raises $40,000 to $50,000 a year for the county’s fire departments.

“This is how we do community service and we have fun doing it,” Mr. Crump said. “People in our area are really competitive, and with racing especially. Racing is expensive, and this is a more inexpensive way to do it.”

Tina M. Garrow, assistant chief of the Norwood Fire Department, said the department has been hosting the Independence Day race for about seven years.

“We do pretty good,” she said. “It draws a large amount of people to the area.”

Ms. Garrow said the department uses the money raised each year for new first-responder equipment and training programs.

She said the village’s Fourth of July celebration doesn’t begin or end with the lawn mower races, however.

A parade starts at 1 p.m., followed by a demolition derby at 2 p.m. at the firemen’s field. The lawn mower races begin at 5 p.m., and a fireworks show will cap the night.

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