North Warren High School student Alex Nuwer emerges from a dunking booth tank after sharpshooter Cole Bradley, 7, of Chester sent her plunging into the cold water with a well-aimed baseball during Horicon Day. Nuwer and a half-down other local students staffed the dunking booth for the popular community festival, held Saturday Aug. 3.
Town board member Bob Olson sat on a perch above a tank of water in a dunking booth Saturday Aug. 3 at Horicon Day festivities.
“What a wimpy throw,” he said with a grin, taunting a man who was poised to take a second shot at a lever that would plunge him into the cold water. The next shot, the college-age man hit his mark, and Olson was drenched. Fellow board member Matt Simpson and other local celebrities had their turn serving as targets.
The booth was a featured attraction, sponsored by the North Warren High School Class of 2015. Among those staffing the booth were North Warren juniors Julianna Dewar, Phil Cooper, Nick Sapienza, Quinn Carlo, Alex Nuwer and Connor Farmer. The proceeds are to help pay for their upcoming junior prom. Hotshots of the day included Skylar McDougall, Ellie Underwood and Sarah Gaulin, the latter two Argyle youngsters who dunked one celebrity after another.
A half-hour earlier, Olson had been wandering over the grounds of the Horicon Town Hall with a bullhorn, promoting various attractions of the festival — which included a display of a proposed basketball court development by oy Scout Dylan Baker, 12. The Brant Lake youth is planning to construct the court at the Horicon Community Center, if he garners enough donations.
Nearby was a booth displaying gifts and floral arrangements, representing inventory of the Lazy Moose Garden Market, which is to be opened next spring at 6499 state Rte. 8 in Brant Lake. The display attracted as many as a dozen local people at once. Teri Schuerlein, who’s developing the center as well as a nearby deli and cafe with her husband Paul.
“It’s very humbling, how the community has responded today,” she said.
Around the corner, the Brant Lake Wesleyan Church was conducting a popular ring-toss concession, as well as handing out free bottles of cold water. Nearby, fairgoers were tossing dimes into glass dishes for prizes at a concession operated by Girl Scout Troop 3151.
Joyce Houck and her son Russell were handing out free pens, pins and maps at the North Warren Chamber of Commerce booth.
“A lot of visitors have been stopping by, asking about local attractions and bicentennial events,” Houck said.
Bill McGhee of the Eastern Shore Schroon Lake Association was showing off live samples of invasive species, while handing out pamphlets on how to stop them from spreading from one waterway to another. He had a petri dish with tiny fern-like fronds of milfoil, as well as a sieve containing a half-dozen Asian clams, showing the items to interested browsers, explaining the threat they pose.
Explaining the activities of the Brant Lake Association — as well as selling sweatshirts, hats and mugs with the association logo — were BLA members Wayne Butler, Doug Paton, Harvey Leidy, Mike Raymond, Judy Long and Elna Meader.
Also represented at Horicon Day were the Krafty Kritters, marketing their crafts and conducting a raffle for a quilt, to be awarded on Labor Day weekend. The money is to go for scholarships to North Warren High and the local Adopt-A-Family charity. Bonnie Cleveland of the North Warren Helpers Fund passed out free snacks and collected donations on behalf of her group’s outreach charity.
Sheriffs’ officers Jesse Wittenberg and Pete Leone fingerprinted and photographed children in the Horicon Community Center, producing high-technology identification cards. Nearby, a man with a long grey beard and a battered Alpine felt hat — Gerard “Frawg” Contois — read stories to children while occasionally telling tall tales to adults passing by.
Providing fuel for the crowd were members of the Horicon Fire Department Auxiliary. Grilling up hot dogs and hamburgers as they shared local news and chatter with customers were Estelle and Nancy Smith and Amanda Delczeg, while Helen Smith, 80, was making change out of the cash box. Smith’s younger sister Gert was nearby, serving up nachos and popcorn. Estelle Smit let other workers know that Saturday was the 74th birthday for Gert, a 55-year Auxiliary member.
“This has got to be the ‘funnest’ day of the year,” she said “This has got to be the ‘funnest’ day of the year,” she said of the community festival, sponsored by the town of Horicon.
Next door, local firefighters let children sit behind the wheel of their fire trucks, and showed off their array of equipment.
The Horicon Library conducted a sale of books and CDs that was very popular. Dozens of people enjoyed a spaghetti dinner prepared by the Tin Teepee eatery.
During evening hours, the festivities also included fireworks, following entertainment by the Willy Playmore Band.
One top attraction was the giant water slide, event coordinator Matt Simpson said, noting more similar features will be added in next year’s fest. Dozens of children repeatedly careened down the slide, into a giant pillowed backstop — at no charge.
“I’ve never seen so many kids having fun like this in Brant Lake,” he said. “It was awesome — this was a day they’ll remember in their 30s and 40s.”