ROUSES POINT - The village of Rouses Point is celebrating its golden anniversary of - well, celebrating.
Dennis Roberts and Geri Favreau are among members of a committee overseeing this year's 50th Fourth of July celebration, slated for Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4. The milestone event, aptly named "Rouses Point: 50 Years of Celebration," is one they're looking forward to, said Favreau.
"It actually started in 1959 on the 350th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain [exploring the region]," explained Favreau, "but it skipped a year. So, this year will be the 50th."
Though the Fourth of July celebration has been downsized this year from a three-day event to a two-day one, many of the festivities people have become familiar with will return, said Favreau.
On that Saturday, garage sales will be hosted village-wide and the Rouses Point Volunteer Fire Department will host a boot drive. Kids Day will also return that day at the Rouses Point Civic Center with a bike decorating contest and magic show. Music by Rest Ave. will round out the evening along with a boat parade at dusk hosted by local marinas.
On Sunday, a car show will be hosted at the civic center and a chicken barbecue will be served across the street at the fire department. The highly-anticipated parade will begin at 6 p.m. that day followed by fireworks at dusk.
Several other facets to the weekend are still in the planning stages, said Favreau, including lining up entertainment to perform on the village's new stage Sunday afternoon.
However, the biggest change people will notice with the celebration, said Roberts, will be the lack of a beer tent this year.
"In years passed, there's always been a beer tent either sponsored by the [Rouses Point Sportsmans Club] or the fire department," explained Roberts, "but, this year, we didn't have an organization willing to take it on. So, we as a committee, opted to go alcohol-free this year."
Though the celebration will be sans booze, Roberts and Favreau still think there will be more than enough reasons for people to come out to support what has become a Rouses Point tradition.
"The only difference that I see this year with years previous is we went from a Friday evening-Saturday-Sunday event to a Saturday-Sunday event and there's no beer tent this year," said Roberts. "Other than that, all the other activities are still in place."
"It will still be an event that brings out the people," added Favreau.
The only things they're lacking, said Roberts, are volunteers.
"There's been a lack of support from the community, as far as working the booths and chairing different events," said Roberts, who noted only a small group of "hard-working" volunteers have signed on to help this year. "There's a lack of support, but there doesn't seem to be a lack of interest."
Though the community would like to see the event happen, stepping up to make it happen is critical in seeing it last another 50 years, he said.
"It's dwindling each year and the fear is it will go away completely if people don't step up and offer their assistance," Roberts said of the event.
Those interested in volunteering, being a vendor or being in the parade may call the village office at 297-5502.