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Best Fourth to honor tradition

TICONDEROGA-There will be a nostalgic feel to the Ticonderoga's Best Fourth in the North celebration this year.

Organizers have selected "July 4th Through the Past" as the theme for the Independence Day events.

"We want to celebrate and honor the organizations and people who have kept the Fourth of July alive in the community," explained Matt Courtright of the Best Fourth committee. "We want to involve as many people as possible."

The committee is seeking information and memorabilia on past celebrations and would like to hear from people who helped planning those events.

It's hoped this summer's parade will include a float carrying all past grand marshals and another carrying former celebration planners.

The annual Best Fourth in the North celebration in decades old, at least 60 years, although no one seems certain when it started.

"It started with the (Ticonderoga) fire department," Angela Brown, committee chairwoman, said. "Then the chamber (of commerce) took over and then a committee was formed to plan events. We'd like to know more about the history of the celebration."

Organizers hope to have representatives of the fire department, chamber and July Fourth committee take part in this year's parade.

Anyone with information on past Ti July Fourth celebrations is asked to call Brown at 585-2233.

The 2011 Best Fourth in the North will be a four-day affair, beginning Friday, July 1, and concluding Monday, July 4.

It will mark the return of Ti Idol, a local singing contest, after a year's absence. Patterned after the television program, "American Idol," the event is open to individual vocal performances only in junior (ages 7-12), teen (ages 13-18) and adult categories. All contestants must reside full time within a 45-mile radius of Ticonderoga and must be amateurs. No bands or electrical instruments will be permitted.

There will be some changes in the Ti Idol competition this summer, though. Instead of elimination rounds at the Ti High auditorium in the months leading up to the July Fourth finale, the entire competition will be held in Bicentennial Park on three consecutive nights, July 1-3. Judging will also be changed to mirror the television program "The Voice."

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