June 10, 2013
Dryden tractors pay tribute
Dairy parade includes procession in memory of Groton mechanic
DRYDEN — The 29th annual Dryden Dairy Day parade took off Saturday morning to the joy of spectators who lined the streets, catching candy, waving flags and clapping for the participants.
A special feature this year was a line of about 50 tractors that took up the rear in honor of Melvin “Jack” Scholes, the owner of Jack’s Tractor Service in Groton, who died in April.
Troy Sherman, a friend of Scholes’ who arranged the tractor lineup in his memory, said Saturday that Scholes had probably worked on each tractor on display in the parade at one time or another.
Sherman said Scholes had over 150 customers from several counties and that many more people wanted to come honor him but they lived too far away.
“He was more of a friend than a businessman to all of us,” Sherman said.
Sherman said he decided to organize the lineup in honor of his friend, whom he called a “very smart man.”
“Everybody here was one of his customers,” Sherman said. “It’s a really close-knit group of people but he was more of a dear friend to all of us.”
As the tractors roared to life and took up the tail end of the parade, the onlookers cheered and children scrambled for candy thrown onto the ground by participants.
Virgil resident Emily Salino watched the parade with her children Brayden Hutt, 4, and Rylee Salino, 3.
Salino said her art teacher’s daughter was the Tompkins County Dairy Princess and that they came to watch her.
“The kids saw the Cortland dairy parade and they wanted to go to another parade,” Salino said. “Daddy’s at work and we’re here.”
The parade featured people dressed in cow costumes as well as the more traditional components of a parade, such as marching bands and civic organizations. Some animals participated as well.
Marching proudly down the middle of the road, was Jazzmin the boxer, wearing a pink feather boa with her toenails painted red and feet painted pink.
Jessica Rich was walking her dog in the hopes that Jazzmin would be voted by the crowd to be the honorary “dog mayor” for the year, a competition held by the Kiwanis Club.
Three-year-old Autumn and 5-year-old Victory Dovi stood by their parents, Jesse, holding 4-month-old Judah, and Sarah Dovi. The children picked up candy tossed near them, waved at the procession and took in all the sights and sounds of the festivities.
Sarah Dovi said the family comes every year.
“We love our village. We like to support all the organizations and see all of our friends,” she said, adding they love to support the library in particular.
The Southworth Library had a float aimed at encouraging young readers, with children dressed in costumes and a large marching Clifford dog.
As the parade wound down and headed to Montgomery Park, where the afternoon would continue with games and family events, Gina Prentiss, a member of the Historical Society, stood on the street and noted the importance of the parade.
The Historical Society has supported the event since the beginning, though the Grange deserves the credit for starting the Dairy Day events, she said.
“It is a real tradition and it brings the people together,” Prentiss said. “They all come down and stand on the streets we’re not used to standing on.”
The activities at the park are also beneficial to the children, she said.
“It’s a chance for kids to play games, pet animals, eat good things and meet good people,” she said.
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