CROWNPOINT-Crown Point will host its 143rd annual Memorial Day observance May 29 and 30, looking back while planning for the future.
The theme for the two-day event is "Remember When," according to Jodi Gibbs of the town Memorial Day committee.
"'Remember When' is meant to take the individual on a historic tour of our town, historical landmarks and sites," she said.
Activities are scheduled to get under way Sunday at 11 a.m. with an ecumenical church service at the band stand in Veterans Park.
At noon the park will open for a day of rides, games and vendors.
Fireworks will conclude the day at dusk at the Crown Point State Historic Site.
Monday - Memorial Day - will begin with the traditional Solemn Tour of Crown Point cemeteries and historic sites.
The tour will begin at Sacred Heart Cemetery at 9 a.m., followed by the Congregational Church at 9:15, the Ironville Cemetery at 9:45, the White Church Cemetery at 10:15, Fairview Cemetery at 10:45, the Putnam Creek Bridge at 11 a.m., Forestdale Cemetery at 11:30 a.m. and the Veterans Monument in the town park at noon.
Crown Point's annual Memorial Day parade will begin at 2 p.m. at Ferry Road and proceed north on Main Street, ending at Veterans Park.
At 3 p.m. there will be band demonstrations and an awards ceremony.
Last year the Crown Point Memorial Day committee decided to scale back the annual observance. The weekend-long carnival was dropped. Only the traditional parade, fireworks and cemetery tour remained.
Supervisor Bethany Kosmider expressed concern about the diminished Memorial Day activities earlier this year. She noted the committee this year has added some events in the park and continues to work on improving the parade.
"We're looking for more bands (for the parade)," Kosmider said. "I'm calling schools in the area looking for another band or two. We contacted a lot of bands and thought we had some lined up. In the end it hasn't worked out. It's very disappointing."
The town of Crown Point gives the Memorial Day committee $5,000. The remaining funds for the annual activities come from fund raising efforts.
"It's a tough year for the economy and the fund raising this year hasn't gone as well as in the past," Kosmider said. "Bands, fireworks, everything gets more expensive every year. We need to expand our fund raising and start earlier in the year.
"Things will be better next year," Kosmider promised.
Help is on the way. The Memorial Day committee has reached out to the newly-formed Crown Point Chamber of Commerce. The chamber held a coin drop recently to assist this year and plans on taking a more active role in planning the 2012 Memorial Day observance, Kosmider said.
The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce has also offered to assist, the supervisor said.
"Involving the Crown Point and Ticonderoga chambers will be a real help," Kosmider said.
Another change on the horizon will be a shift of the fireworks from the Crown Point Historic Site to a location in the hamlet.
"We're locked in at the historic site this year, but a lot of people have said they'd like to have the fireworks back in town," Kosmider said. "Our vendors complain they start losing business at 6 or 7 (p.m.) as people head out to the fort to get a parking spot. I think it's a good idea to keep people in town (the hamlet) instead of encouraging them to leave."