ROUSES POINT — The time of year approaches once again for food, fun and fireworks at Rouses Point, which will take place July 4 to 6.
“We’ve been doing this for 54 years,” Mayor George Rivers of Rouses Point said. “I can’t remember a day when there was no celebrations on the fourth.”
The festivities will start at 4 p.m. on Friday with carnival rides, food booths, games, vendor tables and a libations tent, which will all be available throughout the three days of celebration.
Live music performances by the Community Singers, a local group which performs traditional and patriotic songs, and Strawhatters, a group of area musicians who play all around Clinton County, from 5 to 7 p.m, and Glass Onion, from 8 p.m. to midnight, will end the day. The next day of the celebration is Kid’s Day.
On Saturday, the 5K Summer Sizzle Run will take place at 8 a.m. with registration starting at 7 a.m. The run will take place at the Rouses Point Boat Launch, and all proceeds will benefit Rouses Point’s 4th of July festivities.
At 9 a.m, a boot drive will take place until 3 p.m, along with a youth baseball jamboree starting at 9:30 a.m.
“The youth baseball teams are going to have a tournament, and it’s not really competitive,” said Kieran Gilroy, co-chair of the Rouses Point 4th of July Committee. “It’s just a get together for the kids to get together, play and have some fun.”
After, a bike decorating contest will take place from noon to 12:30 p.m, with Pipsquek the clown putting on a magic show, face painting and making balloon animals from 1 to 4 p.m. Damaged Goods will perform from 2 to 6 p.m, followed by a band from 8 p.m. to midnight that has yet to be announced.
For Sunday, the last day of the celebration, the day will start off with a vroom with the car, truck and motorcycle show occurring in the Civic Center Parking Lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. At noon, the Rouses Point Fire Department will be putting on a chicken barbecue until 3 p.m.
The gigantic street parade will start at 6 p.m. with Grand Marshal Danny Kaifetz.
“We had an honor flight float in the parade last year which won first place,” Kaifetz said. “(However), this is the first time I’ve ever been awarded anything like this.”
Kaifetz was awarded grand marshal for his actions founding the honor flight. On May 17, he stepped down as flight director after his sixth flight as a director and third flight as a flight leader. Kaifetz also won outstanding citizen of the year May 2.
“You don’t do these things for the recognition, but when I do get recognition, I feel it reflects on the veterans, and it’s the community’s way of showing how much they appreciate what’s been done for the World War II Veterans,” Kaifetz said. “If you look at it that way, it’s an honor that I get to share with them rather than an individual honor.
“That’s what makes it so important.”
Followed by the parade will a fireworks display at dusk, ending the three day celebration until next year to keep up the tradition George Ducharme started.
Ducharme started the Fourth of July tradition in Rouses Point in 1960, which he coordinated for 16 years.
The celebration lasted for a week instead of three days. The celebration week, Rivers noted, had a carnival , which stayed for the entire week, along with 15 to 20 bands who played in the parade.
“It was the largest celebration of its kind north of Albany, and people came from all over,” Rivers said. “It was super.”
Because of the lack of volunteers, Rivers said, the week long celebration turned into a three day celebration. Even though the numbers dwindled down, the volunteers involved now aren’t giving up.
“People have grown up, and the generations involved have come and gone,” Gilroy said. “But we’re carrying on a tradition that was started 54 years ago.”
To learn more about the event or to register to be involved with the events, call the main office at 518-297-5502 or contact Gilroy at firstname.lastname@example.org.