Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 28, 2014

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Ready to march into summer on the island

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Fair-Weather Friends — Good heavens, is it summer already? Wasn’t it winter just a month ago? Now, one week from today our Parade will be past tense, traditionally with no sign that it passed this way at all.

The march moves forward next Friday morning and if you had any business to do over here that day, best to avoid the hours between 9:30 and noon. Almost anybody who’s not in the parade will be watching it and you can’t drive anywhere anyway. Its classic style was borrowed from another island entity, Rhode Island, by a new arrival who said it helped cure her homesickness.

Count on three or four bands (the number diminishing in recent years), a footload of stepdancers, a circumference of twirlers, a giggle of silly-stringers and an assemblage of office-holders and wannabes. We’ve seen many a political career begun here, sometimes to our regret.

Survivors usually break for home or the VFW Post and regroup for fireworks either inside or outside Fantasy Island, which also will make its presence known in the parade. For the compulsively masochistic, there’s the footrace, 2.3 miles, in which Doug has trotted a few times. Maybe next year.

Then let the summer fun begin. Some highlights:

• IT’S A MIRACLE! – Our locally unique Miracle League, on a Bedell Road field specifically designed to ease maneuverability for wheelchairs and walkers, calls “play ball!” almost every Saturday morning. Big dates include July 19, when the Collegiate League Niagara Power comes to lend a hand, and July 26, when the Bisons report. Hand it to the Power for even considering this, as the team plays in Syracuse the night before.

• SPECIAL KIDS DAY – The local Lions entertain up to a thousand Mainland youngsters July 16 at the Launch Club, that’s on the east end of Bush Road, providing refreshments, boat rides and games. Beware the school-bus convoy on the Parkway, and the Lions can always use an extra paw or two, starting around 9 a.m.

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