by Rachel Hunter
The North Country community gathered along Main St. in Edwards to enjoy the Edwards Fire & Rescue’s Second Annual Firemen’s Parade on Saturday, July 6.
The excitement was palpable as a crowd amassed in front on both sides of the road to watch the parade. While they were waiting for the parade to commence, all were welcomed to stop by the concession and vendor booths that were set up in the parking lot of the Edwards Health Center, 8 Church St., Edwards.
Meanwhile, the parade participants lined up on First Street and Second Street, and at the 6 p.m. fire whistle, the parade commenced. The parade made its way down Church Street before making a right turn onto Main St. in Edwards.
Leading the parade was a St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office apparatus, Car 121.
Next in the parade lineup was the Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 color guard featuring VFW Commander Richard Fisher, Gerald Barker (presenting the American Flag), Michael Webster (presenting the VFW Post Flag), and Wayne Knowles.
The Edwards Fire & Rescue then showcased their E-27 and TA-75.
The Edwards History Center then had a float, reminding all those in attendance that it had been 200 years ago, in June 1819, when Scottish settlers first came to Edwards. All were encouraged to stop by the Edwards History Center at 222 Main St., Edwards to learn more. The float also featured music by the New Horizons Band.
Next were the Heuvelton Central Marching Bulldogs then performed, thrilling all those gathered with their exceptional performance. Also appearing was Ogdensburg Free Academy Blue Devils Marching Band, which awed with selections and acrobatic performances inspired by from the movie, “The Greatest Showman.” A judging panel, with members on the ground and on a flatbed truck (from Jim’s Auto in Edwards), evaluated the marching band performances.
Russell Fire and Rescue then showcased its E-104 and TA-37 trucks.
Janet Otto-Cassada, Democratic candidate for SLC Clerk, also marched in the parade. She was joined by an Elect Janet Otto-Cassada for St. Lawrence County Clerk float, and all were reminded of her over 20 years of experience helping St. Lawrence County. She was joined by a host of supporters and SLC Democrats, who passed out candy to those along the parade route. This included Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall.
Next was the Degrasse, Clare, South Russell Fire Department, showcasing its E-100 truck.
The Gouverneur Fire Department then showcased its shiny new R-4 truck in one of its first parade appearances.
Next was an appearance by Sandy Santamoor, Republican and Conservative candidate for SLC Clerk, who was joined by supporters including St. Lawrence County Republican Party Chairman Tom Jenison As the Elect Sandy Santamoor float went by all were reminded of the current deputy SLC clerk’s eight-year track record.
SLC Undersheriff Brooks Bigwarfe for SLC Sheriff was surrounded by supporters as he made his way down the parade, waving hello to all those in attendance. Joining him was SLC Legislator District 4 William Sheridan (R-Hammond). All were reminded that Bigwarfe was born and raised in St. Lawrence County, and has been serving for the past 32 years in the SLC Sheriff’s Office.
The Hermon Volunteer Fire Department was next in the lineup, and showcased their ETA-43 truck.
The end of the parade was signaled by the appearance of Edwards Fire & Rescue Chief Richard Anson on the department’s ATV-13.
All in attendance were invited to the Edwards Fire Hall to enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs and refreshments. A Block Dance then followed at 8 p.m. with music by local bands, Homegrown and Man Fights Grizzly. All was provided for free to the North Country community members and visitors present.
Community spirit was high in Edwards last Saturday night, and all expressed gratitude to those who made the parade and block dance possible. Much fun was had by all in attendance.