A clown cools people off during the July 4 parade in Plattsburgh.
PLATTSBURGH — Most people hand candy out during Fourth of July parades.
D&D Meats of West Chazy provides spectators with sample bags of its product line, Jeezem Crow Beef products.
“We hand out beef jerky,” said Shane Dutil, who, along with his family, owns the business.
Independence Day means much to the family, with an uncle and father who served in the military.
“We send 1,000 full-size bags of jerky overseas,” Dutil said. “We try to do as much as possible for the soldiers.”
This past July 4 he spent the day in Plattsburgh, preparing to participate in the annual parade.
This is the first year D&D Meats participated in the July 4 parade, also preparing a float for the one in Rouses Point. The business did enter a float in the winter carnival and received a great response.
Dutil worked steadily as the heat of the sun over head increased, beating down on him and others participating in the parade.
The jerky is made like the “old timers,” Dutil said, which inspired the theme for the float. He spread out hay bails, plastic crows, a log and saw and farm hands, creating a scene from 1815.
As he worked, Rod Sherman pulled up in front of him and backed his green Civilian CJ2A in front of the float. The vehicle was number 1,970 in production.
“We had the jeep on the farm when I was a kid,” said the veteran Plattsburgh City School teacher.
A little further down, Danielle Lukasiewicz helped set up another float.
“This is our first year, though some of the other troops have done it in the past,” said the troop leader for 4061 Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York.
They participated because they thought it would be something fun for the girls.
The theme is red, white and blue and the Girl Scout’s 100th birthday.
“It’s so cool, because you get to walk around and hand out candy, and you get to carry a banner,” said Celeste Luk, 8.
Brooke Boyea, also 8, was most excited about riding the miniature horse.
“I’ve never ridden in a parade before.”
Spectators gathered on either side of the road, up and down the parade route, some shielding themselves under the shade of a tree, though most stood under the sun, steadily wiping sweat from their eyes as the hottest time of the day arrived.
The flashing lights of a Plattsburgh City Police Department SUV started the parade, followed by the fire department and the Police Pipes and Drums.
Various themes filled the parade line, including War of 1812 reenactors, Plattsburgh’s Lumber Jills, the Lucid bus, local dance groups, soldiers and area businesses, with many people tossing candy to children as they passed.
The parade ended with a line of old cars revving their engines up the street.
Children slept on their parents shoulders, some in strollers, beaten by the sun, their tummies full of candy, as spectators turned to go home and prepare for the fireworks later that evening.