Parade closes annual Fredonia Farm Festival

On Sunday, the 46th annual Fredonia Farm Festival parade attracted hundreds of interested spectators. Local police diverted traffic from the corner of Risley Street down through Temple Street for the event.

Melissa Thompson, chairwoman of the Farm Festival committee, was responsible for organizing the parade. This was her sixth year serving as chairwoman. It takes her over 12 months to prepare for the parade, and says she has already booked two bands for next year’s farm festival.

“It’s a great community festival with a lot of community participation,” she said while the parade drew to a close. “We had a lot of vendors this year. It’s always been pretty good.”

First up in the parade order was the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Mounted Division, which has served the community since 1950. The mounted patrol controls traffic, takes part in search and rescue, security and crowd control, police escorts, and other assignments.

The festival banner was carried by the Little Learners Family Child Care, owned by Donna Shepard. It is located on Straight Road in Fredonia and has been open since September 2008, providing developmental assistance and activities to children aging six weeks to 12 years old.

Dennis Rak, owner of Double A Vineyards Inc., rode a 1929 Model A in the parade owned by Joe Seminatore of Fredonia. The Model A won third place at the Fredonia Beaver Club Car Show and a trophy for Oldest Car at the Brocton Legion Car Show.

Next, the Fredonia Fire Department drove trucks down the street, followed by politicians, including Sally Jaroszynski, legal director of the Chautauqua Region Law Center, and Jeffrey Piazza, an attorney in Jamestown, who are both running for the Family Court Judge position.

The ladies of Danza! Performing Arts Academy performed an excerpt of “A Little Party.” Their dance styles range widely, including ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, tumbling, cheer, Irish, musical theater, afro-Caribbean and modern. The studio was opened in 1996 by Krista Giambrone Taylor, a former professional dancer, and offers classes for students of all ages.

The Dunkirk Elks Lodge followed, carrying an American flag that was 10 feet by 20 feet. The Elks have carried the American flag at the parade for 30 years.

The Eclectic Dance Company performed a routine under Director Kathryn Kuczka-Hawk and Coach Mya Christy. Afterward, the Chadwick Bay Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps played several pieces of music both old and new.

Karate Connection, headed by Norman Yonkers, a seventh-degree black belt, performed a martial arts routine which included nunchucks and the breaking of many a wooden board with jumping side-kicks.

Next came Dan Johnson driving a 1972 M1 51 Guided missile carrier. The Collage Performing Arts Center put on a number of upbeat cheerleading routines, representing members from elementary, middle and high school.

Fredonia’s Cub Scouts, sponsored by the American Legion Fredonia Memorial Post, was composed of 45 Cub and Webelos Scouts. The boys ranged from first to fifth grade. Sean Baker Strong also appeared, in order to raise awareness for congenital heart defect research.

Rubbermade Brigade, a group of older-aged percussionists who play music on homemade instruments, performed songs including “Colonel Bogey March,” “Sing Sing Sing,” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” They were followed by a performance by Infinity Dance Academy.

The WNY Drum Corps, under the leadership of Robert Teclaw, closed the parade with a marching band performance.