Press-Republican

September 7, 2013

Village Fair offers fun for all

By JEFF MEYERS
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — One of the most popular attractions during the annual Battle of Plattsburgh Commemorative Weekend has been the Children’s Old Time Village Fair.

Those kid-oriented activities will again be highlighted during the upcoming celebration.

More than 30 exhibits will be featured at the Village Fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at MacDonough Monument Park and the north lawn of City Hall in downtown Plattsburgh.

“The participants will recreate an old-fashioned village atmosphere and will be wearing (War of 1812) period costumes,” said Linda Ward, a volunteer for the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemorative Committee and organizer of the Village Fair.

“This event appeals to a broad range of people and is a wonderful event for the entire family,” she added. “It gives people an opportunity to spend quality time together while traveling back in time and learning about history.”

One of the main attractions at the Village Fair has been the Plucky Rooster contest, a reference to how a gamecock on one of the American vessels was freed from its cage during the Sept. 11 battle on Cumberland Bay but remained on board to rally American sailors.

This year’s contest, which features children’s creations of their own versions of the plucky rooster, is being organized for the first time by Champlain Centre.

“We’re excited to have the Plucky Rooster contest here this year,” said Courtney Coryea, marketing director for Champlain Centre. “It’s our way of helping out with the commemoration.”

Champlain Centre has a “rooster coop” located near Sabarro’s Pizza where Plucky Rooster contestants will have their creations on display throughout the week. Visitors can stop by and vote for their favorite rooster up to Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Then, all of the roosters will be on display during the Battle of Plattsburgh parade the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 14. Following that, they will return to the mall where they will be exhibited through Monday, Sept. 23.

Plucky Rooster festivities will also be highlighted at the Village Fair on Sunday with a Live Plucky Rooster and Rooster Crowing Imitation contest.

Participants can bring their own pet roosters for display in the barn tent, which will be located near the front steps of City Hall. Awards will be given for the best-looking rooster and the rooster with the loudest crow.

Judging for the rooster contests will be at noon.

Then, at 12:30, participants will be able to show their talents in crowing like a rooster. Everyone is welcome to enter, and prizes will be awarded for the best crowing imitation.

Representatives from the Babbie Rural & Farm Learning Museum will be on hand to display how apple cider and corn bread were made in days gone by, and Larry Bosley from the Bosley Farm Museum will have many unusual farm implements on display during the event.

Butternut Ridge Farm will have therapeutic donkeys on hand, and Medicine Horse Farm will feature its painted ponies, including information on why the Iroquois people painted their animals and what the symbols they used stood for.

Employees from Cook and Gardener Garden Center will help children create paper flowers.

“This will be our first time doing something in the village as Cook and Gardener,” said Elizabeth Ward of the Garden Center. “We’ve participated in the parade before, but this year we will help children create flowers out of colorful sheets of tissue paper.”

“It’s a great activity,” she added, noting that she learned how to make paper flowers as a child and has taught her two young children the craft as well.

She has also spent some time teaching the staff at Cook and Gardener so they too can join in the festivities.

Cathy and Bill Steele will be on hand with their colonial dolls, an attraction that was very popular in 2012.

“Last year, Cathy put together 50 doll kits, each with its own name,” Bill said. “This year, we’ll probably have 100 kits. Cathy is working on the design for boy dolls as well.”

The Steeles will be available to help kids put the doll kits together, or children can bring the kits home and fashion them on their own, he added.

There will also be exhibits on doctors and medicine of the time period as well as a general store where kids can find old-fashioned toys, treats and penny candy.

Email Jeff Meyers:jmeyers@pressrepublican.com