September 12, 2008
County bicentennial parade set for Saturday
More than 100 floats, cars and trucks will be part of parade that begins at 10 a.m.
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland Historical Society members, from left, Jaffre Harris, Marti Dumas and Toni Gallagher help to prepare a float Thursday for the bicentennial parade taking place Saturday in Cortland.
On Saturday, people shouldn’t be alarmed if they see a Cardiff Giant or a man dressed like Abraham Lincoln headed down Main Street.
The giant’s replica and Honest Abe will be part of the county’s bicentennial parade, which will begin at 10 a.m. and follow the same route as the annual Dairy Parade.
The bicentennial parade features more than 100 entries, including Brockway trucks and floats from all of Cortland County’s 19 municipalities, said Cortland County Historian Jeremy Boylan, who helped organized the event with the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce.
Saturday’s parade was fashioned after a 1958 event that celebrated the county’s sesquicentennial anniversary and was attended by more than 30,000 people, though Boylan said he didn’t anticipate that many people coming to the Bicentennial Parade.
But just like the 1958 parade every float will follow a historical theme and showcase a person, business or event that is significant to Cortland’s past, Boylan said.
This week, groups are finishing their floats and finalizing plans for historical costumes and characters. In Cortlandville, Town Supervisor Dick Tupper said he had seen people Wednesday finishing decorating a hay wagon, which several town residents will ride.
Cortland County Historical Society Director Mindy Leisenring said the organization began planning its float in August and finished constructing a surrey on a truck-pulled wagon in three hours. Their float will also feature several people in historical costumes, she added.
After the parade, if weather permits, the Old-timers Jazz Band will perform in Courthouse Park, and the first 250 people will receive a free slice from a birthday cake, which is more than 4 feet in width, Boylan said.
Other bicentennial events included a vintage baseball game on Aug. 23 and a Polkville barn dance on Aug. 30.
The bicentennial celebration will continue on Sept. 20 with a black-tie optional bicentennial ball in Courthouse Park, which will be held from 6:30 to 11 p.m.
There is a cost for tickets, which can be purchased from the Cortland County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Already, 150 tickets have been sold, Boylan said.
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