Press-Republican

August 19, 2011

Battle of Plattsburgh gets national recognition

ANDREA VanVALKENBURG
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — With a little national recognition and some new attractions, organizers of the 2011 Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration celebration think this year's event will be better than ever.

The 14th-annual event kicks off Sept. 3 with dozens of events scheduled through Sept. 11.

Already a hit among many local residents, the attraction has now earned national recognition as one of the American Bus Association's Top 100 events from across the country.

"This is huge," Michele Powers, Plattsburgh/North Country Chamber of Commerce vice president for marketing, said Thursday during a news conference announcing this year's event lineup.

"This helps put Plattsburgh on the map and is a fantastic opportunity."

OLD-TIME VILLAGE FAIR

She said the commemoration event was selected from more than 800 submitted to the Bus Association's annual top destination list.

Commemoration Co-Chair Gary VanCour said there are several new additions to the week-long fun, including a series of dedications for the War of 1812 Interpretive Trail on Sept. 5.

Then, he said, "we've developed a whole series of activities on Sunday, Sept. 11, that will be geared toward families and children."

Some of those activities include storytelling and a Children's Old-Time Village Fair.

Fellow Co-Chair Kit Booth said, "In addition to the new things, we're also doing a lot of what we've done in the past."

He said the commemoration will feature a "jam-packed" schedule of events, including daily live music by groups including the U.S. Navy Band Northeast's Dixieland Group, Beartracks band and Too Tall String Band, as well as 1814 atmosphere and food at the Israel Green Tavern.

Sept. 10 will still include the 8 a.m. Cannonball Run, a 10 a.m. battle re-enactment behind Beekmantown Town Hall, 11 a.m. Battle of Plattsburgh Challenge Cup and Bateau Race and the annual parade to follow at 1 p.m.

PLUCKY ROOSTER

The Plucky Rooster Awards will be given at 11 a.m. that day, and organizers say there's still time to enter the popular annual contest that brings attention to the legend that says a rooster rallied the Americans to win the battle on the lake.

"There's still time to make your Plucky Rooster and register," VanCour said.

The downtown Battle Re-enactment and Soup Cook Off will be held Sunday, Sept. 11, along with an afternoon music concert to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11.

Residents can purchase a $10 button for admission to the many select events.

This year's button was designed by first-place contest winner, Kelsey Gilmore of Mooers. Alex Kneifel of Plattsburgh and James Conway of Morrisonville took second and third place, respectively.

More than 204 elementary-age children entered this year's drawing contest.

TASTE OF HISTORY

Gilmore handed out the first of this year's admission buttons to Plattsburgh City Mayor Donald Kasprzak on Thursday, when he praised event volunteers and organizers for their continued dedication to the commemoration attractions.

"This is the premiere event in the North Country ... and it gets better every year," he said.

The commemoration is planned throughout the year and costs about $90,000 to host. Those funds are raised through volunteer donations.

"We hope that people will come with their families and enjoy a little music and taste of history," VanCour said.

More information about the commemoration, including an event lineup and contest-registration details, can be found at www.battleofplattsburgh.org.

Email Andrea VanValkenburg at: avanvalkenburg@pressrepublican.com