Battle of Plattsburgh celebration begins next weekend

PLATTSBURGH One of the most pivotal battles of the War of 1812 was held right in our backyard the Battle of Plattsburgh. Each year, a committee works to commemorate the significant battle with a series of events, with festivities beginning this year next Saturday, Sept. 6. Many memorial events are planned this year, including the Deweys Tavern Memorial, which will be held at State Route 276 and Prospect Hill Road in Champlain Sept. 6, beginning at 12 p.m. Thats the place that the British came across the Canadian border and set up a headquarters in the tavern, explained planning committee co-chairman Kit Booth. Actually, there are some British soldiers buried [there]. The memorial will be a small ceremony in which anyone is welcome to attend. Similar memorials will be held throughout the commemorative week, including the Riverside Cemetery Memorial, to be held at 5 p.m. at the Riverside Cemetery Thursday, Sept. 11. This is the biggest memorial of the week, with about 150 people expected to attend. Bagpipers, re-enactors, the Cardinal Singers and the U.S. Navy Band are all expected to participate in the ceremony. Part of what makes the Riverside Cemetery Memorial special is veterans from the British and American side are buried in the cemetery, said Booth. Its a very unusual situation to see combatants from both sides, buried side by side in the same cemetery, he explained. Two events that have become annual traditions are the Cannonball Fun Run and the Plucky Rooster contest, both held Saturday, Sept. 13. The fourth annual Cannonball Fun Run is a 5- and 10-kilometer race and a 1-mile fun run/walk held at the PARC Oval. The longer races are intended for adults and teenagers, while the fun run/walk is aimed for the whole family. People who pre-register by Sept. 4 will receive a free T-shirt. The third annual Plucky Rooster contest allows people of all ages to construct a rooster out of any materials they can think of. The only stipulation is that the rooster must be three-dimensional and at least three-feet tall. In order to be involved in this contest, all roosters must be submitted by Sept. 6. Why a rooster? Booth explained the rooster is the official mascot of the Battle of Plattsburgh. During the water battle, a rooster was freed from its coop when a cannonball hit. The rooster then flew onto a cannon and crowed. It was considered to be a good omen by the seamen. The Americans were the victors in this battle. Another event many look forward to is the parade. This year, the theme is Women in United States History, and many floats will highlight women that various organizations have found to be important in their history. We're very encouraged, said Booth. This theme has brought people out. The parade will also feature the U.S. Navy Band, the Royal Canadian Band and Peru High Schools marching band, along with bagpipers, and the color guard from Fort Drum. With all these events, Booth wanted people to be aware that buttons are available for purchase, which will grant admission into any event for free during the week. The buttons are $8 prior to Sept. 1, and $10 after. All proceeds from the buttons will help pay for the expenses of the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemorative Weekend. Numerous other events have been planned for this years Battle of Plattsburgh. For a full list, visit www.battleofplattsburgh.org.

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