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Parade marks milestones

AU SABLE FORKS - The community of Au Sable Forks is making sure summer goes out with a bang.

The hamlet will host the 2009 Holy Name/St. Matthew's Labor Day Celebration Sept. 7, beginning at 10 a.m. It's an event that has more than 40 years of history there.

The celebration kicks off with a parade beginning on Palmer Street, passing through Main Street and ending at the Holy Name Church/School grounds.

Town of Jay Supervisor Randall T. Douglas will be the M.C. of the parade and Susan Richards will sing the National Anthem.

Douglas said the parade is new and improved this year with many new additions including the AuSable Valley Central School Band, Au Sable Valley Dance Club, and John Dukett's Band, Dearly Beloved.

Also featured this year are Santa's Workshop's beloved characters and float, Loon Works' HooDeeDoo and Trillium, and many other costume characters like Woody Ward of Ward Lumber Company and visiting astronaut Buzz Lightyear.

"This year is going to be the biggest year in a long time if the weather holds up," said Douglas.

Parade entries will present in front of the judges' stand located in front of Holy Name School where winning entries will be announced.

"I think economically it's good for us," said Douglas, "because the people that come for the festivities visit the businesses in the town, and they benefit."

The Grand Marshall for the 2009 Labor Day Parade is Eillie Douglas. Ellie has volunteered her time for numerous fundraisers throughout Clinton and Essex County for several years and has helped raise thousands of dollars for families and organizations in need.

This year, Holy Name/St. Matthew's Church along with St. Margaret's Parish is honoring Father Phillip T. Allen's 50 years of Priesthood. Allen, an avid hiker and a member of the 46er Club, will be participating in the annual festival for the 23rd consecutive year.

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