Gary VanCour, Kit Booth and Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak discuss the Battle of Plattsburgh events.
PLATTSBURGH — It is the most important event the City of Plattsburgh is involved with each year, said Mayor Donald Kasprzak.
The parade honors those who never returned from battle, the music could fuel its own festival and at least one talk will feature a Pulitzer Prize winning author.
Those details and more were highlighted during the 2012 Battle of Plattsburgh press conference. Longtime organizers Gary VanCour and Kit Booth said there was something new and something for everyone at the 10-day event that starts Aug. 31.
“We got a lot coming up this year,” Booth said. “There is a lot of new stuff.”
The British Invasion Dinner at Plattsburgh American Legion Post 20 on Friday, Aug. 31, kicks the festivities off. Reservations for the dinner can be made by calling the Battle of Plattsburgh Association at 566-1814.
The cost is $35 per person and $60 per couple for the buffet dinner.
“If you have period clothing and like to wear it that is fine, but it is not required,” VanCour said.
British troops marched from the Canadian border down, and more towns are taking ownership of the event, including the Town of Chazy. On Sept. 1, British troops will camp at the Scott House on Route 9 in Chazy, the site of British Commander Gen. Prevost’s temporary headquarters.
That evening, Towne Meeting, a local band that plays folk, country and acoustic rock, will play at Chazy Central Rural School.
VanCour noted that many “top-notch” musicians will perform in concerts and shows. Some groups have played around the country and are big names in the music industry, including the Cromatix, a band that has played with Bob Dylan and has been nominated for several Grammy awards.
Her Majesty’s Royal Marine Band will be featured the evening of Sept. 8.
“The Royal Marine Band as become an annual favorite,” VanCour said. “Attend these concerts. There is something for everybody.”
Some of the lectures include Don Papson, who will discuss African-Americans in the Battle of Plattsburgh at 2 p.m., Sept. 2, at the War of 1812 Museum on the Old Base campus.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor will speak about his book “The Civil War of 1812” during a presentation at 7 p.m., Sept. 5, at E. Glitz Auditorium in Plattsburgh State’s Hawkins Hall.
“You don’t often get this caliber of individual here,” VanCour said.
Booth said a representative of the British Navy would be at the event, as well as four re-enactors coming from England.
“Saturday is the parade day, following a re-enactment in Beekmantown in the morning,” Booth said. “This is where the first bloody conflict took place.”
The parade on Sept. 8 will feature more marching bands, musicians and other participants. At the start of the parade, the grandmaster car will be empty in memory of those who went to combat and never came back.
The Battle of Plattsburgh activities include more than 500 volunteers.
“You have to have a large number of people, and there is always a need,” VanCour said.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call 561-4039.
“This is truly a team effort, and without each part it wouldn’t happen,” VanCour said.
Kasprzak stressed that it was a “world-class event.”
“It is something that is really meaningful for the City of Plattsburgh.”