Independence Day — Thursday, July 4 — will feature the iconic Fireman’s Parade in Saugerties, along with a series of baseball games and fireworks at sundown. This is the second year since Kiwanis passed the baton of hosting the fireworks at Cantine Field to the Saugerties Lions Club, and according to club President Allen Carney, it will “be a better show than ever.”
According to members of the Saugerties Fire Department, they have been hosting the parade for at least 100 years — Assistant Fire Chief Scott Campbell said that “no one really knows when we took over.”
The 11 a.m. parade route will start on Washington Avenue across the street from Saugerties High School, and will be led by grand marshal William “Doc” Kimble, who just celebrated his 50th year with the Saugerties Police Department. It will feature members of each area firefighting outfit along with those of neighboring communities, the local police department, state police, sheriff’s deputies, county assistant District Attorney Mike Kavanagh, Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack, Congressman Antonio Delgado, a spate of youth and adult sports teams, local scout groups, the high school marching band, members of artist’s collective Shout Out Saugerties and all manner of bands and community groups.
Meanwhile, the fire department will cook up hot dogs at the large pavilion on Cantine field. Also at the pavilion, a handful of judges will hand out trophies for achievements like “best truck appearance” at the parade’s culmination.
“The one thing that we stress is that this is not a political parade — they participate, they walk with the Republican or Democrat group, but we don’t want this to be a political event. It’s family, it’s patriotic, and we try to keep the politics out of it,” said Second Lieutenant Stan O’Dell of the local government star-studded lineup. There are 61 total groups and “500-plus” people marching in total.
The department is still accepting applications for parade participation — interested groups can contact them via phone at (845) 246-9701 or through their Facebook page.
At 1:05 p.m., American Legion Post 72 will host a baseball game at the Cantine complex, the semi-pro baseball team Saugerties Stallions will play at 7:05 p.m.
“We cover the whole day,” said Carney of the schedule.