CANTON — Food, fun, floats and more will highlight the annual St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess Parade & Festival which kicks off Friday evening with Big Wheel races in the village park and the John Deere Days Block Dance featuring country music.
The two-day gathering is held rain or shine and typically draws large crowds downtown for the 1 p.m. Saturday parade where youngsters scramble for candy as fire trucks, marchers and floats make their way down Main Street. This year’s theme is “Dedicated to the COWmunity.”
Nearly 40 vendors including nonprofit groups and other organizations will have booths set up in the village park. A bouncy house for children, games, a chicken barbecue and more will add to the festivities. Some vendors will be set up Friday evening while many more will be there Saturday from 10 a.m. until about 3 p.m.
County Dairy Princess Maureen Pierce of Heuvelton and her court will be the guests of honor at the parade and festival.
Allison M. Bauer, Canton’s new Chamber of Commerce executive director, said she’s learning a great deal as she coordinates this year’s event as it will be her first time attending.
She’s discovered that many vendors return annually because they enjoy the atmosphere and large crowds.
“They love coming here every year because it’s such a great event,” she said. “It combines businesses with organizations and gives people a chance to buy locally. Everything is at your fingertips in the park.”
Registration for the Big Wheel races is from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on Park Place adjacent to the Canton First Presbyterian Church. The races start at 6 p.m. and run until approximately 8 p.m. The competition is open to children ages 4,5 and 6. It costs $1 to enter and Big Wheels will be provided for racers.
The first place winner in each age group will win a Big Wheel and a trophy. The second- and third-place finishers will win trophies. Those in fourth place will receive medals.
LeBerge & Curtis Inc. will once again sponsor the free block dance from 7 to 9:30 p.m. featuring music by Classic Country.
Due to a scheduling conflict, there will not be a car show.
Some of the food vendors include The Italian Affair, Massena, the Canton FFA chicken barbecue, St. Lawrence Maple Association and Marine Corps League which sells hot dogs and hamburgers.
St. Lawrence University will once again sponsor the Brockville Pipes and Drums band in the parade. Other parade participants include the Canton Goldenaires singing group, the Knights of Columbus, local fire departments and several floats showcasing various businesses and organizations. The parade will follow the same route as in years past: along Riverside Drive then left on Main Street up to the park.
The Cub Scouts plan to hold a frog-jumping contest in the park. Following the parade, this year’s dairy princess will select the winner in the chamber’s kayak raffle.
The Canton Kiwanis Club will hold its annual “duck pluck” at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the park. There is a $5 donation for each duck sold by Kiwanis members until 2:30 p.m. Saturday. First prize is $300, second, $150 and third, fourth and fifth, $50 each. Tickets are also available at Barkley’s Safe & Lock, 16 Court St., and White’s Flowers, 35 Miner St. Proceeds will benefit Kiwanis’ local service projects.
The St. Lawrence County Historical Association will hold its book sale in the front yard and inside the Historical Association’s home, the Silas Wright House, 3 E. Main St., from noon to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. A plant sale will also be held, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Plants will include hostas, columbine, coreopsis, bleeding hearts, primroses, phlox and more, priced from $3 to $5.
All proceeds will benefit the association.