The Best Fourth in the North is a town of Ticonderoga committee, dedicated to providing residents and area visitors with a unique and memorable Fourth of July experience. The theme of this year’s annual celebration was “Fourth of July throughout the Years,” honoring those who have helped keep this tradition alive in our community. This year’s celebration was used as an opportunity to thank and honor the Ticonderoga Fire Department, Jim Martin, Kitty Garand, the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce, past Best Fourth in the North Committee members, and all of the dedicated volunteers who have made this celebration possible for so many years.
Throughout the weekend there were traditional activities in Bicentennial Park, including amusement rides, games, live music, vendors and more. The 2011 celebration was kicked off with the return of Ti Idol, a singing contest that mirrors American Idol. A few changes were made this year, giving the show a new feel. Instead of elimination rounds being held at the Ti High auditorium as in years past, the entire competition was held in Bicentennial Park from July 1-3. The judging portion of the competition was also changed to mirror not only American Idol, but America’s Got Talent and the new hit television program The Voice as well. The 2011 winners of Ti Idol were Karen Disbrow, adult division, Danee Jo Haran, teen division, and Alyssa Tucker, junior division.
Monday, July 4th, was a day full of time-honored traditions, including the Montcalm Mile, a downhill footrace that began on Wicker Street and proceeded down Montcalm Street. This years’ winner of the Montcalm Mile was Lee Berube. The Montcalm Mile was followed by a bed race and a conventional parade. The winner of the bed race was Treadway’s Service Center. A grand fireworks display capped off the weekend-long celebration, a display bigger than any the Best Fourth in the North committee has planned in its previous years.
The Best Fourth in the North committee is in need of members and volunteers to ensure that this treasured celebration continues into the future. Currently, there is a very small group of dedicated volunteers who serve on the committee. These committee members spend many hours throughout the year planning and making this celebration possible. Without more volunteers to help keep the Best 4th in the North tradition alive, the future of the celebration may be unknown for the following years.
There are some changes in regards to the Best Fourth in the North committee that have taken place. Angela Brown who has been the chairperson for a number of years and a dedicated volunteer to the committee over the past 10 years, has stepped down as chairperson. She has handed the reigns over to Debbie Barber, who has been a dedicated volunteer to the committee for many years.
It has been a pleasure to work alongside Angela Brown in being a part of the Best Fourth in the North committee. Even though her leadership will be missed, I am equally as excited to work with Debbie in planning next year’s event. Her knowledge in regards to what it takes to plan an event on such a large scale will be invaluable to the committee.
The 2012 celebration is already in the beginning stages of planning. The Best Fourth in the North committee recently met at the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce office, located in downtown Ticonderoga. If you are interested in serving on the committee and volunteering your time, please contact 585-6876.
Matt Courtright is executive director of the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Best Fourth in the North committee.