AU SABLE FORKS - The community of Au Sable Forks is making sure summer goes out with a bang.
The hamlet will host the 2009 Holy Name/St. Matthew's Labor Day Celebration Sept. 7, beginning at 10 a.m. It's an event that has more than 40 years of history there.
The celebration kicks off with a parade beginning on Palmer Street, passing through Main Street and ending at the Holy Name Church/School grounds.
Town of Jay Supervisor Randall T. Douglas will be the M.C. of the parade and Susan Richards will sing the National Anthem.
Douglas said the parade is new and improved this year with many new additions including the AuSable Valley Central School Band, Au Sable Valley Dance Club, and John Dukett's Band, Dearly Beloved.
Also featured this year are Santa's Workshop's beloved characters and float, Loon Works' HooDeeDoo and Trillium, and many other costume characters like Woody Ward of Ward Lumber Company and visiting astronaut Buzz Lightyear.
"This year is going to be the biggest year in a long time if the weather holds up," said Douglas.
Parade entries will present in front of the judges' stand located in front of Holy Name School where winning entries will be announced.
"I think economically it's good for us," said Douglas, "because the people that come for the festivities visit the businesses in the town, and they benefit."
The Grand Marshall for the 2009 Labor Day Parade is Eillie Douglas. Ellie has volunteered her time for numerous fundraisers throughout Clinton and Essex County for several years and has helped raise thousands of dollars for families and organizations in need.
This year, Holy Name/St. Matthew's Church along with St. Margaret's Parish is honoring Father Phillip T. Allen's 50 years of Priesthood. Allen, an avid hiker and a member of the 46er Club, will be participating in the annual festival for the 23rd consecutive year.
After the parade, the field day celebration will be held on the Holy Name Church/School grounds. One of Santa's famous reindeer, Blitzen, will be located on the grounds near the Moon Bounce. HooDeeDoo and Trillium will also be performing for an hour after the parade on the field grounds.
Plenty of traditional fare will be included, such as chicken BBQ dinners, hot dogs, hamburgers, fried bread dough, french fries, snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, and refreshments. Bingo starts at 2 p.m., with doors opening at noon.
There will be six new games of skill on the field grounds this year; the $1 bounce, milk jug, frisbee toss, ringer, and ready-go-throw. Returning once again will be the dunking booth and the chance to win a fresh baked pie.
Band entertainment will be provided by Side by Side Entertainment on the field grounds from 1 - 5 p.m.
The field day grounds are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closes with a large cash raffle drawing. First prize is $5,000, $1,000 for second, $300 for third, $200 for fourth, and $100 for fifth.
Douglas said that the event encourages many in the community to hold family reunions or get-togethers with friends.
"It's just a great end-of-summer event for the community," Douglas said.