This year we participated in the Schroon Lake 4th of July celebration. For a number of years we have spent the 4th in Saco, Maine but now that our friends who managed the KOA in Saco have moved on we decided it would just not be the same. We always enjoyed time with our friends, great fireworks and it was a fun adventure.
Last year we had spent the 4th in Albany because I had work obligations and our fireworks watching choice was not great. I had come up to the house in Schroon to spend a little time and Eileen had just finished work at the school nearby. We had talked about heading out to Tupper Lake further up in the Adirondacks but it had been a busy few weeks and we just weren’t ready to hop in the car again. Since we were in town we decide why not check it out. So, we packed our lunch with the intention of heading down to the Schroon town beach and to see what the event was all about. Knew if it wasn’t our thing we could always head back.
The town beach is a lovely space with a sandy section down near the water and a hill that comes up from the beach that is a grassy park like area with nice shade trees. I like sitting up on the grassy knoll and looking out over the view of the mountains around the lake. The shade trees proved a nice combination to balance the hot sun and there always seems to be a breeze on the hill. We were a little leery of the 4th of July event since we had heard that in the past it was dominated by an overlay of fundamentalist Christianity and we had heard the people sometimes felt preached at during the event. Fundamentalist anything always makes me a bit cautious.
We knew from a flyer we had picked up that there were going to be some musical performances, a small craft fair, a parade and fireworks. Only one of the bands listed to perform was familiar. So down we went with our lunch, books, swim gear and chairs. To our surprise the beach and grassy knoll area was busy but not packed like sardines. Main stage for the event was up and over to the side by the parking area (we heard later that most years the stage was set up down on the beach but because there was so much rain and a higher water level the location was moved).
It has been a while since I’ve attended a small town 4th of July celebration. As a kid growing up in Michigan my Mom, sister and I use to go to my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jerry’s for the 4th and we participated in the Jaycee’s 4th of July celebration in Dowagiac, Michigan. My Aunt and Uncle were members of the Jaycee’s so we always had a behind the scenes view of the celebration. I remember it as always a lot of fun, with a parade, and fire works. So I was curious to see what Schroon Lake would have to offer.
The stage show was made up of multiple bands and a Native American storyteller and singer. We enjoyed them all. The storyteller probably had the hardest time because the sound from the stage at a distance was very muffled but when she sang her last set rather than told stories it was easier to hear, plus for us since we have several CD’s of Native American music from the songwriter she sang from we knew most of the songs and enjoyed each one.
We saw a little of the parade as it ended at the beach area. Prior to the start of the parade when we walked down to the beach we saw that the serious parade watchers had already staked out there spots along the main street in town. We found where we were to watch that the spacing of the entries in the parade seemed to be an issue (meaning there was a long wait between each entry) at the end where we were and there appeared to be only a couple of bands.
Of course I am spoiled when it comes to hometown parades, in the town where I spent most of my growing up years they really knew how to throw a parade. The Danish Festival in Greenville, Michigan each year has a least 120 entries and goes on for quite a while (close to two hours). I have fond memories of watching the parade and marching in the parade whether it was in the middle school band, Danish dancers or the girl scouts, it was a lot of fun and still is one of the main events of the festival.
As the Schroon Lake 4th of July day events progressed we decided we were enjoying the vibe, the weather was great not too hot or cold. We had found the perfect spot to camp out with our beach chairs; we had a great breeze from the lake. Since we walked down from the house we did not worry about parking. When it came time to think about dinner we headed back to the house, 3 ½ blocks away and made a big salad, grabbed a few more drinks, added some warmer clothes to our bag, in case the temperature dropped, and made our way back to our little spot where we had left our chairs and big towel. We watched the lake, saw the kids play on the Caterpillar jungle gym, read our books, listen to the music, took a break to go see the crafts and just chilled out. It was the kind of day we needed after such a busy week before.
The day ended with a great fireworks display! We felt like we had front row seats. We also enjoyed seeing all the boats out on the lake with their lights on. Everyone was friendly, and polite near us. We had a great day just being outside and hanging by the lake, you just couldn’t beat the view!
© 2017 Jelane A. Kennedy