Saratoga Battle Chapter SAR
Saratoga Battle Chapter

12th Annual Turning Point Parade

Schuylerville, NY
August 6, 2006

Article by: Compatriot Dennis Gill Booth
Preparing the Chapter banner - (L-R) Dennis Booth, George Ballard, Duane Booth, Ray LeMay
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
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 accordingly.

(L-R)George Ballard, Duane Booth and Dan Meade
(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
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
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 of America.

2nd Continental Regiment
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
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
Photographer Joyce Armstrong
The author and his family (L-R) Torrey Booth, Colleen Booth, Caitlin Booth, Dennis Booth
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


^ TOP ^

Saratoga Battle Chapter Home
Saratoga Battle Chapter Home

* Email to the WebMaster *
©2006 Saratoga Battle Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution