PARISHVILLE - A town-wide celebration 200 years in the making is now under two weeks away in Parishville and the three-day schedule has been all but finalized.
Bicentennial Committee Chairman Bob Wickwire has been an integral part of coordinating the various events and is looking forward to the celebrations officially getting underway.
“I think 200 years of anything is an important milestone, especially for a community. There’s just something about the bicentennial that seems to be important and significant,” Mr. Wickwire said. “It’s always important to celebrate the town and how it has changed over the many years.”
Parishville Co-Historian Joseph R. McGill has led the way in organizing the big event and is eagerly awaiting the July 25 opening ceremonies among other activities.
“I think the kids are really going to enjoy the beach venue. I think the adults will enjoy the downtown venue with the music that’s going to be there,” Mr. McGill said. “There is an opening ceremony on Friday night and that will include the unveiling of the (interpretive) panels. .., I will also be giving some brief opening remarks.”
Highlights on the schedule include a block dance with the River Mohawks Band Friday night, a horse drawn tour of the hamlet and old homes from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and a fiddler/bluegrass concert on the Northern Music sound stage from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
“There’s quite a bit going on, and I’m hoping that the children will enjoy the activities going on at the beach for them,” Mr. Wickwire said. “I think a lot of folks will enjoy the activities going downtown. After the parade, there will be the different musical groups performing on the main stage there.”
The committee chair said that he moved to Parishville during his elementary school days in the 1950s before moving away for much of his adult life.
When he and his wife retired, however, the couple decided to relocate back to their hometown.
The Parishville Museum will be open all weekend, according to Mr. McGill, and there will be employees at the building available to answer questions.
Current Town Historian Emma Remington, who has served in the role for 35 years and will be retiring at the end of July, will also be at the museum during parts of the weekend.
“The horse drawn wagon tour will kind of highlight where some of the historic places are in Parishville. Most of those will be right here on the Main Street,” Mr. McGill said. “I had a St. Lawrence University student working with me and he will be narrating the tour. His name is Kilian McIntosh, and he is a Parishville resident and a History major.”
Mr. Wickwire noted the critical role that the Raquette River has played in the town’s history.
“Parishville was an industrious little place many years ago, and I think the river has played a significant role in Parishville and continues to do so,” he said. “Originally, the river was a source of power and it’s now a recreational and residential area in the community.”
For a full schedule of the Parishville Bicentennial celebration, please visit the town of Parishville’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Town-of-Parishville/243374799120647.