Cassadaga Labor Day events remember the Special Day

Submitted Photo Shown at the Cassadaga Labor Day weekend event are the Ducky Derby participants and bystanders at the outlet on Maple and Mill Street.

CASSADAGA-Remembering the reason for Labor Day and honoring the American Worker, the people in the village of Cassadaga gathered together for memories and activities. It was a time for families to sit on the front yard or porch and visit. Labor Day itself dates back to 1882 when the American worker was first recognized and honored for their efforts in building this nation. Oregon was the first state to make the holiday official and then the first Monday in September was designated at National Labor Day.

Plans for the weekend of events begin early in the year with “spark plug” Cindy Flaherty planning the two day event. Flaherty is a very active member of the group known as the Citizens for a Better Cassadaga.

The weather on Saturday was in the 80’s with bright sun, and just the ideal day for the events. The festival opened at 10 a.m. with an arts and crafts show in the village park at the four corners known as Ames Common. Food was available from a Cajun Food Truck at the village park.

The Cassadaga American Legion Post No. 1280 on Maple Avenue held a corn/hot dog/clam/clam chowder and sausage luncheon at their post. The food stand was operated by the Sons of the Legion, under the direction of commander Diman Smith. The first person to talk with was Dr. Bob Elis who took the orders.

The grand parade beginning at 11 a.m. was organized by Beth Burlingame. The Grand Parade was led by the Cassadaga American Legion Honor Guard. All those participating gathered at the village barns on Maple Avenue, and the parade began. The parade included the Ducky Derby Mobile, with County Clerk Larry Barmore walking the parade route and his wife Carol tossing candy to the spectators, and village historian John Sipos riding his bright green scooter and also giving out candy. Legislator Mark Odell and candidate for county Sheriff Jim Ouattrone participated in the parade. Fire equipment and personnel from the Sheridan Fire Department, the Lily Dale Fire Department and the Cassadaga Volunteer Fire Department were in the parade. The music was provided by the marching group known at the Western New York Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps. Two of the Sinclairville 76ers Meals on Wheels vans were in the parade. Members of the Cassadaga Red Hatters were driven in the parade by Helen Runge in her blue convertible. Restored military Jeeps were a part of the parade. DAR representatives Carol Abell, Susan Sipos and Diane Shaw were a part of the parade. Members of the Sons of American Revolution marched and stopped long enough for Jim White to fire his old musket.

Maple Avenue was lined with spectators who cheered everyone along.

The parade led into the annual Ducky Derby with some 650 plastic ducks let loose in the outlet. Each duck was numbered to correspond with a ticket sold, and the 35 prizes were called out by announcer Dennis Collins. Collins serves as the president of the Cassadaga Lakes Association and did much effort in the publishing of the 7th annual directory.

A special thanks to Dan Thorp for providing the speaker system, and to the many participants in the day’s events. A special thanks to the many donors of prizes for the Ducky Derby, including the Chautauqua Nursing and Rehab for their generous donations for prizes. Thanks to Russell Bly for the ad on the village fire department sign. The day now holds many memories for the residents of the village.

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