LOWVILLE — Two villages. Two days. Two ways to celebrate Independence Day in southern Lewis County.
On Saturday, Lyons Falls will be launching its first Independence Day Festival at Riverside Park.
A parade through the village will start things off at 9:30 a.m. following the “old parade route” that was used in the past by Firemen’s Days parades from the corner of Markham and McAlpine streets and ending in the park where the festivities will be held until 11 p.m.
“It’s going to be a big one,” said Mayor Beau Bailey, who, with a small committee of volunteers that has now been absorbed into the local charity Lyons Falls Alive, organized the event in seven weeks. “It’s just a full-fledged day. It’s going to be a good time.”
Food will be provided all day long by a variety of sources, from after-parade doughnuts sponsored by St. John’s and St. Martin’s Catholic churches in Lyons Falls and Port Leyden, respectively, to the Lyons Falls Fire Department’s lunch menu made popular at the weekly farmers market, to a number of food trucks, including Squishy’s Barbecue, that are expected to continue until the food runs out or the festival ends.
Some of the quirkier activities included in the celebration will be a “jail cell” with volunteers locked up inside and two voting buckets outside: festival-goers can drop money in the bucket that says “let ‘em out” or “lock ‘em up.”
The bucket with the most money will decide the person’s fate. Proceeds of the fundraiser will go to Lyons Falls Alive Recreation Committee for future events.
Activities throughout the day include a car show, mechanical bull riding, rock wall climbing, face painting, a dunking booth, a youth baseball tournament, slip-n-slide kick ball and cornhole boards. Also in the entertainment line-up is a magic show, as well as two live bands.
The mayor’s own band with his parents, Baileywix and the Third Wheel, will perform country music and a few classic rock hits from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and from 6:30 to 11 p.m., Central New York’s The Blackcreek Band will take over.
“We will have 50-50 raffles and door prizes throughout the day and about 50 tickets are left in the 200 Club raffle,” Mayor Bailey said. “We’re hoping to sell out so we can do the first drawing that day (of the festival).”
The festival is sponsored by Lyons Falls Alive with contributions from Browns Metal Mods and Mayor Bailey’s Black-Moose Automotive with prizes donated by local businesses.
Turin Mayor Josh Leviker and Mayor Bailey coordinated their villages’ events so they could compliment each other rather than compete.
The fourth annual Fourth of July parade through Turin will be held on the actual holiday on Sunday beginning along West Main Street at 11 a.m. and ending at South Lewis High School.
Mayor Leviker said there are about 35 parade entries this year from local businesses, the fire department and other organizations.
After the parade, the fire department will host its last chicken barbecue of the season along with the Methodist Church’s bake sale at the fire hall on Route 26.
With the remains of the Brick Block building fire not yet cleared, Mayor Leviker said the area has been cordoned off to remind parade enthusiasts not to enter the private property for safety reasons or to remove items from the site.