Friday, September 17, 2021

Plattsburgh celebrates local history

The City of Plattsburgh held its 19th annual Battle of Plattsburgh festivities this weekend, hosted in downtown Plattsburgh.

On September 11, 1814, the Battle of Plattsburgh took place on Lake Champlain during the War of 1812. An American naval force took victory over a British fleet.

City of Plattsburgh Event Coordinator Sandra Geedes, said that students of Plattsburgh State can benefit from this weekend.

A lot of the festivities’ volunteers came from sororities and fraternities on PSUC’s campus. Geedes also said that PSUC’s president John Ettling was present in Saturday’s parade.

Many new events were added to this year’s celebration. The reenactments took place Thursday, with two new reenactments being added since last year. Over 200 reenactors participated.

Friday, there were various musical concerts from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Sweet Adelines of Plattsburgh then sang the Star Spangled Banner prior to the fireworks show. A play called ‘Plattsburgh to Peace’ was also held Friday by actors who played President Madison, John Quincy Adams and Albert Gallatin. The play explained what happened at the Battle of Plattsburgh and the Treaty of Ghent, and how these two events were important to Plattsburgh’s history.

The city held its annual parade on Saturday afternoon. Plattsburgh locals were involved in the parade, including members of the local schools playing in the band, representatives of branches of the military, local dance studios and bands such as Her Majesty’s Royal Marine Band from Cobourg, Ontario; Police Pipes & Drums of Plattsburgh, and The Quigley Highlanders.

The parade started down near Willcox Dock and went through the middle of the town. After the parade, bands returned to the middle of Downtown Plattsburgh to create what was called “The Beat Retreat,” where they took turns playing more songs for the crowd.

Bed races, where teams took turns racing each other in large makeshift/homemade beds also took place. Each team has a rider, while the rest of the team gets behind the bed and pushes as hard as possible until the bed reaches the finish line.

The festivities ended Sunday with the new “Invasion 5k.”

A short run through downtown Plattsburgh that was set off by the gunfire of some reenactors.

Plattsburgh resident Katie Gibbons-Campbell says her favorite part about the weekend was the reenactment at the Kent Delord House. She also said she hopes they bring back the “soup contest” from last year. She also said that having more interactive childrens’ activities would be really beneficial too.

Along with the reenactments there was also an assortment of foods being vended downtown, including strawberry shortcake stands and an assortment of maple flavored foods. Cotton candy and other treats were located in the center of all the activities.

Erin Garrison, a local candle shop owner and teacher’s assistant at Adirondack Helping Hands said her favorite part about this weekend is seeing all of the community spirit. She said she likes to see it when the community comes together to create this celebration.

One of the reasons Garrison said this weekend would be beneficial to the PSUC students is to meet their community, and many of the students can find events like this helpful to their classes when asked about things they have done around town.

“The more you learn about it, the closer you get to Plattsburgh as a home.” Geedes said.

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