CASSADAGA - The village of Cassadaga and the Cassadaga Lakes Association recently hosted two days of Labor Day events.
Mike Lehnen, village trustee, said he wanted a time for all to view the parade, eat a hot dog, and stand around and visit their neighbors and friends.
On Saturday, Aug. 31, along Maple Avenue, a grand parade was held with many participating. Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony lined up the parade participants on Frisbee Road and then began the parade at 4 p.m. A speaker's stand was set up using a borrowed flat-bed truck from the Fredrickson Builders Supply. John Sipos, village historian, began the announcing by welcoming all to the parade, and then introduced Bob Frank, who was the master of cermonies during the parade. Bob Dilks was also on the speaker's stand helping with passing participants. Nearby were Bob and Regina Burlingame sitting on their front porch watching the parade, along with John and Deb Kotar. The sound system was supplied by Dan Thorp, and Jim and Fran Odell helped with some set up. Village trustee Jeff Frick walked the parade route checking on the American flags on display on all poles along the route. The American flags were provided by Cassadaga American Legion. The American Legion held a clam and corn roast at their hall during the afternoon, along with a car cruise-in.
The parade began with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Mounted Police leading the parade, followed by the color guard of the Cassadaga American Legion Post 1280, and the Ladies Auxiliary. Steve Lehnen, using his 1947 restored Jeep, drove the John Runkle, parade marshall. Floats were a part of the parade, including one from the Cassadaga Library and the Stockton Score group decorated with fall decorations. Surrounding area fire departments participated along with the Cassadaga Fire Department, who had all of their rescue and trucks in the parade, including their old vintage firetruck. These included the Sheridan, Sinclairville, Cherry Creek, Stockton, Lily Dale and Gerry fire departments. Cherry Creek brought one of its old vintage pumpers pulled by two firemen in their red outfits. Sinclairville drove their old vintage fire truck in the parade.
Some candidates up for election this fall were walking along greeting parade watchers. The VFW 8647 was a part of the parade, along with the Cassadaga Farm Supply the Cassadaga Job Corps students and the bag pipe musical group. The Cassadaga Lakes Association weed cutter was also a part of the parade. The local scouts were marching in the parade, with a marching cadence about camping. One of the residents rode her 1957 vintage Firestone bicycle in the parade. One resident walked with her dog, which was wearing a blue handkerchief around the dog's neck. Some restored vintage farm tractors were proudly driven in the parade. Members of the Sinclairville 76ers Meals on Wheels organization drove all three of their vans in the parade. The parade concluded with Lehnen bringing Lazarony and Valerie Culverwell, deputy mayor, in his Jeep.
Following the parade, free hot dogs, prepared by Lehnen, were served to all. The annual Cassadaga Lakes Association Ducky Derby was then held at the lake outlet. Participants were able to purchase a plastic duck to vie for one of the many prizes donated by local merchants. Dennis Collins welcomed all to the derby, then began the introductions, with Cindy Riggle playing the starting tune. Brad Blizzard was in charge of seeing that the ducks came through the fencing in random order. The grand prize went to local resident Regina Burlingame. Kathi Runkle, representing the Cassadaga Library, was selling bags of cookies and chips as a fundraiser for the newly opened renovated Cassadaga Library. Don Fowler was the first customer.
On Sunday afternoon, the annual boat parade was held beginning at the middle lake and continuing past Fern Island, where Susan Sipos and Diane Shaw were watching along the shoreline, to the Cassadaga Beach area. The weekend of events concluded with a steel band concert led by Cindy Flaherty.