George Virgil atop his entry for Best Dressed Tractor in the Indian Lake parade
On Saturday, July 7, Indian Lake took its turn at celebrating the 236th birthday of our great country.
The day was a full one, starting with a fishing derby for the youngsters sponsored by the Indian Lake/Blue Mountain Lake Fish & Game Association at Byron Park on Adirondack Lake.
The United Methodist Church hosted a bazaar, flea market and bake sale. Right around 4 p.m., the Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary held its annual chicken barbecue served in the fire hall.
As always, the centerpiece of the day’s celebrating was the parade down Main Street. Those leaving the barbecue could see the excitement beginning to build in town as people lined up along Main Street to watch the parade that began at 7 p.m. The parade was led by members of the local American Legion followed by the grand marshal and 2012 Citizen of the Year, Patricia Sue Mahoney.
Ambulances and members of the Indian Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps filled a rightful place of honor just behind the grand marshal’s car.
Next, came the Indian Lake Garden Club with members appropriately dressed in attire boldly displaying and paying tribute to the fine work the organization does with flowering plants to keep the town colorful and a bit more beautiful. The Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary had its members marching ahead of a number of vehicles used to help keep the community safe. Amidst the sirens and lights, one could clearly hear the cheers of appreciation from the crowd lining the parade route.
Civil War re-enactors from the 55th Virginia Middlesex Artillery Company B, had a float brandishing a Civil War cannon guarded by a confederate soldier and a woman in period costume. A Confederate Color Guard followed the float. The soldiers in the color guard stopped every 200 feet or so and fired a loud volley from their muskets into the air to the delight of the children and the adults in the crowd.
Interspersed among the organizations were floats by a number of town businesses. Pines Country Store rolled a display paying homage to kayaking, while Gadway Realty and the Adirondack Rafting Company pooled resources to celebrate whitewater rafting.
The streets were peppered with spectators in creative and entertaining outfits celebrating their patriotic feelings while dressed in the good old red, white and blue. In addition, the parade was host to a number of very entertaining elements.
There were entries for Best Dressed Tractor by George Virgil and Ernie Pollman, both sporting celebratory, patriotic decoration and messaging, while a group carrying a banner defining themselves as the “Global Warming Bi-Polar Bear Club Meltdown” cavorted around the street in costumes making merry and trying to lighten the load we all feel over this issue in a fun way.
The parade went down to Byron Park and the crowd followed, lining the edge of Adirondack Lake to enjoy the beauty of the setting sun, to watch the kayaks and canoes drift across surface, in and out of the shadows of the evergreens.
As the crowd grew and the sun slowly set, kids played with glow sticks and ate strawberry shortcake. Adults bought raffle tickets to support various community organizations, socialized with their neighbors and enjoyed the fantastic music of the Adirondack Acoustics Band.
From the bandstand, the parade winners were announced. The Civil War re-enactors were awarded the Best in Parade, while George Virgil and Ernie Pollman took first and second places, respectively, in the Best Dressed Tractor theme.
Also from the bandstand, the crowd was led in singing “Happy Birthday” to Tim Pines, of Pines Country Store, and shortly thereafter, asked to stand and join in singing the National Anthem.
Then the fireworks began.