Saratoga Battle Chapter
12th Annual Turning Point Parade
August 6, 2006
Article by: Compatriot Dennis Gill Booth
Preparing the Chapter banner
(L-R) Dennis Booth, George Ballard,
Duane Booth, Ray LeMay
The Turning Point Parade 2006 was the twelfth annual presentation
in the Village of Schuylerville, NY. The original idea of
the parade was to serve as a public reminder of the importance
of this area in the history of our country; in particular, the
defeat of the British armies in 1777 and their subsequent surrender
by General Burgoyne. These events have of course been deemed the "turning point"
of the American Revolution, vital to winning independence
from Great Britain.
What better an opportunity for participation by the Saratoga Battle
Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution?
This year's Turning Point Parade was "old hat" for most of our
membership. However, for one Compatriot this was indeed a new and
exciting event. You see, the chapter's Webmaster happened
to be in the area with his family visiting relatives, and
was therefore able to participate in the parade. By happy
accident of schedules, we not only got to see the parade,
but were able to march in it as well.
The Saratoga Battle Chapter Sons of the American Revolution
has participated in this parade for several years, and both
the community and the chapter look forward to the event each
time. While the route is brief, the excitement is high.
The parade participants gather at the Schuylerville High School
parking lot and form up the elements; clowns, antique cars
and trucks, bands, fire engines, rescue vehicles, patrol cruisers, horses,
bag pipers, choruses, re-enactors, Dairy Princesses, Boy and
Girl scouts and many others rallied and prepared themselves for
the hot afternoon march.
The author, Dennis Booth (L) and Ray LeMay carry the Chapter Banner
When the parade finally stepped off, each unit neatly formed
up and gave their own unique performance. Down the hill to
Broad Street we all went. The parade staff members spaced each
group an appropriate distance apart from the group in front of
it, admonishing each one at the start that the parade was
very much like a huge slinky toy, bunching and stretching
along the route, and that we should speed up and slow down
(L-R)George Ballard, Duane Booth and Dan Meade
I had the pleasure of carrying one end of the Saratoga SAR
Chapter banner while Compatriot Ray LeMay carried the other.
Together, Ray and I were the
chapter's "foot soldiers," leading the way for the other
members who took the opportunity to ride in a beautiful red
Ford Mustang "The Red Pony" driven by Carol Slocum, wife of
Past President Lewis Slocum. Past President and Registrar Duane Booth,
2nd Vice President George Ballard, Past Registrar Dan Meade
were the riders, and each gave a distinguished wave to the
crowds as the parade proceeded on its route. The ride was much appreciated!
Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band
Along the route, the Schuylerville community offered its
support and enthusiastic applause for each group as they
passed along. The sounds of bag pipes and marching bands were
punctuated by the periodic volley of musket fire, a constant
reminder of the parade's theme and purpose; the celebration
of the victorious Battles of Saratoga and the impact those victories had
on the outcome of the American Revolutionary War.
Fifes and Drums of Olde Saratoga
Saratoga County, NY
For me, this was an incredible day. This was my first
opportunity to be in a parade, and to have this experience
in my own home town was a real thrill. All along the parade
route I saw friends and relatives waving, clapping and
cheering, not for me, but for the celebration of freedom
and the pride we all have for being on the hallowed ground
of Old Saratoga, alive and free with all of the rights and
privileges of free men and women living together in the United States
2nd Continental Regiment
At the Grandstand, we paused for our introduction, and I
can tell you that it was truly thrilling to be introduced
as a Son of the American Revolution. I was indeed proud
to be one of the representatives of our fine organization.
After just a few minutes, we reached the Schuyler House, and
too soon the parade was finished. We all walked back to
the parade lines to watch the remaining participants perform
and add our applause to the ranks.
Adirondack Pipes and Drums
South Glens Falls, NY
I'm very honored to have been in town and invited to participate and represent
the SAR in the Turning Point Parade. Those of you that live in the
area have a unique opportunity each year, near at hand, and
I hope that if you have not already, you will in the future
participate yourselves. I'll look forward to seeing your
faces in future parades!
Photographer Joyce Armstrong
The author and his family (L-R) Torrey Booth, Colleen Booth,
Caitlin Booth, Dennis Booth
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy Joyce Armstrong, Colleen Booth
and Torrey Booth
Click on any image for a larger version
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