PLATTSBURGH — With the parade, re-enactment, soup cook-off, fireworks, concerts, tours and other events providing fun throughout the festival, the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration left the community eager for next year’s event.
Sue Deforge, a Florida resident who spends her summers in Plattsburgh, was glad when she was asked to volunteer in the Children’s Old-Time Village Fair. This year, she volunteered for the first time at the General Store, selling penny candy, wooden toys and other children’s items.
“We’ve had a great day at the General Store,” Deforge said. “We’ll definitely do it again next year.”
RETURNS EVERY YEAR
Deforge comes to the event every year and looks forward to the parade, the fireworks and the carnival food. This year, she especially enjoyed the Hey Jude concert, a Beatles tribute band at the Strand Theatre.
“They were fantastic. The acoustics in the Strand Theatre are fantastic,” Deforge said.
Euclid Jones of Peru participates in the re-enactment every year as a doctor and surgeon. The medical tent at the encampment by the Kent-Delord House Museum housed a wounded soldier with many bloody bandages.
“It (the tent) was usually manned by the local doctors. There were no nurses at the time,” he said. “Other patients who weren’t as badly wounded would help.”
Jones explained that an important tool for a surgeon in that time period was a saw, and amputations were common.
“More people died from infection than any battle wounds,” Jones said. “Seventy-five percent of deaths were from smallpox.”
The retired dermatologist enjoys history, and likes people to see the other side war, he said.
SOLDIERS WERE FAVORITES
Heidi Schnackenberg and her 6-year-old son, Will Vega, spent most of the weekend at the commemoration.
Will said he liked everything about the event.
“He even asked, ‘Why can’t the Battle of Plattsburgh be every weekend?’” Schnackenberg said.
Will had the opportunity to buy candy at the General Store for a penny and many of his friends were also downtown. His favorite parts of the re-enactment were the soldiers.
“They fire guns at each other to protect Plattsburgh,” he said.
The family was able to watch fireworks from their living room window, and they also marched with Bailey Avenue Elementary School in the parade Saturday.
“We live downtown, so we walk out our front door and we’re right here,” she said.
Schnackenberg enjoyed going through the Kent-Delord House Museum.
“I think it’s a fantastic local museum,” she said.
‘EDUCATING AND FUN’
Roger Columbus and Heidi Dennis of Chazy came to the event Sunday with their two children.
“Plattsburgh should do more family-based functions,” Columbus said. “It’s educating and fun.”
Columbus said the hands-on lessons are better than reading it in a book and that helped his children to learn the history behind the event.
“We’ve come most years,” Dennis said. “Our kids are getting older so they’re just getting into it at this age.
“It gives the community and families a chance to come together,” Columbus added.