by Rachel Hunter
The 2019 Gouverneur Flag Day Parade and Business Extravaganza, sponsored by the Gouverneur Area Chamber of Commerce, was held on Sunday, June 9 at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to the enjoyment of the entire Gouverneur and North Country community.
Family-focused Flag Day fun commenced at 10 a.m., and all could experience the Business Extravaganza, featuring local businesses. These included: the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur (strawberry shortcake social), Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association, Trinkets by Local Artist Paula Towne, Gouverneur Hospital Auxiliary, Gouverneur VFW Post 6338, Coughlin Printing from Watertown, Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired NNY, White's Lumber, Kinney Drugs, Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association, Gouverneur Lions Club, St. James School, and 2020 Census Recruiters.
There was much on site for the local children as well. Kim Russell, sponsored by the Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association, did face painting and balloon animals. A bounce castle, sponsored by Aubuchon Hardware, was also made available. The Gouverneur Recreation Center also have games available for children in attendance.
Food vendors (who also have membership in the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce) on the fairgrounds included: Whinee Wieners (Don Matthews). Mullins (Dan and Tina Mullin), Mr Ding A Ling (Jeff Stevens) ice cream truck, and Cotton Candy n More (Nick Ormasen).
There also were several farmers market vendors on site, including the following: Patti Francis (Raquette River Designs), Marjorie Cardinell (Jewelscent), Todd & Lisa McIntosh (L & T Jewelry & More), Roxanna Hanlin (Retro Roxy Sewing), Ruth Campbell, Margaret Tiernan, Darrell and Teresa Whitton (Wildlife Wonders), Oxbow Fire Department (raffle tickets), Joani Serviss (baskets), Linda Young (baked goods), Linda Brown (sewing, knitting, etc.), Diane Risley (artist), Carol Carr (sewing and fudge), and Rose Gillette.
Local DJ Bob Hughes also entertained with music throughout the day.
At about 12:30 p.m., the Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 with assistance from the Gouverneur Boy Scout Troop 21 and Gouverneur Cub Scout Pack 21 conducted the annual Flag Day ceremony. See related story inside this edition.
The 2019 Gouverneur Flag Day Parade commenced at 2 p.m. with a crowd of eager onlookers in attendance. It was announced by Tony Lynn of 95.3 the Wolf. Participants included the following:
The Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 led the parade. Members George Harder and Todd Menard-Harder carried the banner. Gouverneur Elks Lodge Secretary Jimmy Jackson, Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, escorted Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 sole surviving charter member, Robert Fuller of Fowler. Marching Elks officers carrying the huge American Flag included Exalted Ruler, Esteemed Leading Knight Gresford Speid, Esteemed Loyal Knight Tina Vanderbogart, Esquire Krista Wainwright, Trustee Rick Newvine along with other Elks member. Also, appearing was Elroy The Elk.
Local politicians marching in the parade included the following Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr., Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Village of Gouverneur Trustee Troy Besaw, and St. Lawrence County Legislator (District 5) Henry Leader (R-Gouverneur).
The Gouverneur Marching Wildcats, under the direction of Victor Corea III and assistants Ryan Burt, Lynn Kurdziel, Hillary McIntosh, and Jenelle Yeoman, showcased their talents. The drum majorette was Hailey Cook, and drum major was Jenneca Cook. Much gratitude was extended to the Ice Cream Bowl in Gouverneur for their donation of ice.
The Gouverneur Fire Department brought Engine 17 and Rescue 4 with firefighters Larry Whitton, Dale Johnson, Assistant Chief Jason Scott, Vinny Ferry, Cody Hadfield, Jon Scordo, and Jed Nichols.
The Oxbow Volunteer Fire Co. truck was driven by Bob Horton, and joined by firefighters Dave Storm and Mike Manning. They reminded the community that there were only six days left to purchase a raffle ticket to win the zero-turn lawnmower, trailer, and weed-eater from Oxbow Fire.
Also making an appearance were Daisy Troop 60234 of Russell and Girl Scout Daisy-Brownie Troop 60851 of Gouverneur.
Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Cow Train, built by students at Southwest Tech (BOCES), driven by Mike Wainwright. The Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair is to be held Tuesday, July 30 to Sunday, August 4. For more info, visit gouverneurfair.net.
Silas Wainwright Auxiliary to VFW Post 6338 President Jeff Platt, Treasurer Sara Platt, and Chaplain Ruth Mead also joined in the parade.
The St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess Court was driven by Allen Martin. On the float were SLC Dairy Princess Chloe Renaud of Gouverneur, Alternate Princess Elaina Wainwright of Rensselaer Falls, and Ambassadors Leann Gotham, Kaylin Gotham, Abby Smith, and Sarah Rodee.
Also marching were the Gouverneur Boy Scouts Troop 21 and Gouverneur Cub Scout Pack 21.
Sandy Santamoor for St. Lawrence County Clerk rode in a military vehicle from Fort Drum, owned by Stewart McCollum. She promoted her eight years as deputy county clerk, and her commitment to leading with experience and dedication.
The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Northern New York serves Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. They reported that they are celebrating their 100-year anniversary this year.
Gouverneur Lions Club marched, featuring Lions Club President Betsy Cummings, Lion Tom Cummings, Lion Tiffany Tuttle, Lion Lisa Dunkelberg and Daimon, Seeley, and Tucker Tuttle.
Also in the parade was Joe Wing, life member of Gouverneur VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary, and Jr. Vice President of the VFW Auxiliary.
St. Lawrence County Sheriff's apparatus, driven by Deputy Devin Thomas, concluded the parade.
Flags and balloons were distributed throughout the day (having been donated by Northern Federal Credit Union, Newvine’s NAPA Auto Parts, and the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce). Much fun and excitement was had at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds as the Gouverneur community joined together to celebrate Flag Day. There is much hope for the event's continued success in the years to come.
For more information about the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce, visit www.gouverneurchamber.net.