Young Eben Meisner barely spoke a word as the fireworks exploded colorfully in the sky above.
The 4-year-old from Lake Clear sat with his parents, Luke and Kristin, on one of the few grassy spots available near the Lake Flower boat launch.
"I like the fireworks," he said. "They're good. My favorite is the blue and red and yellow."
Fireworks blast off over Lake Flower Wednesday night to celebrate the Fourth of July in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Lake Placid children ride in the Bicycle Decoration Contest while waiting for the parade to start.
(Photo for the Enterprise — Richard Rosentreter)
The Tri-Lakes were humming with activity on Wednesday as the nation celebrated its 236th birthday. In Lake Placid, hundreds of spectators demonstrated their patriotism by donning red, white and blue, many waving American flags, as they lined Main Street from the Olympic Center to the High Peaks Resort for the annual Fourth of July parade. Local dignitaries and organizations cruised the parade route, some tossing goodies for the children, as the large crowd cheered and reveled in the festive atmosphere.
Parade Grand Marshall Keela Rogers was among the first in the contingent, and she held a flag as she waved and greeted children with candy. Some of the loudest cheers came for the children in the Bicycle Decoration Contest as they pedaled on bikes covered in festive decor. Village Mayor Craig Randall, several village trustees, North Elba Town Supervisor Roby Politi and town board members were also on hand for the parade.
Among the others who participated in the parade were the Lake Placid Garden Club, Lake Placid Beautification, the Lake Placid Horse Show Association, USA Luge, Santa's Workshop, the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, Hannaford supermarket, the Gouverneur Marching Band, the Lake Placid Ski Club, the Girl and Boy Scouts, St. Andrew's Society of the Adirondacks, the Lake Placid and AuSable Forks volunteer fire departments and the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Squad.
In Saranac Lake, there was something old - the annual Kiddie Parade - and something new - a carnival in Riverside Park, organized by the Women's Civic Chamber. There was food courtesy of St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers, cotton candy by the Rotary Club, popcorn and a bounce house by the Baptist church, face painting by the Presbyterian church and games by St. Bernard's School and the Saranac Lake Youth Center. There was also live music by local progressive rock band Placid and a community orchestra.
The crowd was at its biggest in the late morning, as the Kiddie Parade processed into the park, and stayed solid throughout the afternoon. Among the fair-goers were two candidates for New York's new 21st Congressional District: incumbent Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who walked around the park shaking hands and answering questions about policy, and Green Party candidate Donald Hassig, who mostly stood in one spot, silently holding up a protest sign for his long-fought cause, a chemical in animal fat that he says causes cancer.
Saranac Lake's Fourth of July celebration culminated in a fireworks show, which started at about 9:30 p.m. and continued for nearly 20 minutes.
Peg and Barry Cantwell of Saranac Lake watched the show from a stoop behind Nonna Fina restaurant. The couple said they spent the day with family, checked out the Kiddie Parade and had a picnic.
"And fireworks, of course," Peggy added.
Barry said for him, Independence Day is a time to show support for the men and women who serve and have served in the U.S. armed forces.
"It's a time to show that we're behind our military," Barry said. "It's Independence Day; The United States fought for our freedom, and we've been fighting for it ever since. It's an important time for our country."