CASSADAGA - The Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer and the Cassadaga Lakes Association bid the season a fond farewell. Three events were part of the day: a boat parade which left from the Dale Drive Boat Launch at 3:30 p.m., a concert by the Marauder Steel Band directed by Cynthia Flaherty at 4 p.m. and the Ducky Derby at 5:30 p.m.
Weather was perfect for these summer type activities, and both year-round and summer residents brought lawn chairs to sit upon to view the parade and listen to the summery sound of the Marauder Steel Band. Others watched and listened from boats and floating rafts near the Cassadaga Beach.
The steel band members arrived in two waves on a boat driven by Dennis Collins, president of the Cassadaga Lakes Association with their director onboard.
OBSERVER Photos by Diane R. Chodan
Top: Left to right, Brad Blizzard and Peter George dump the colorful plastic ducks at the starting point on the north side of the Maple Avenue bridge in Cassadaga. This was the 14th year the Cassadaga Lakes Association held the Ducky Derby, a major fundraiser for the organization.
Above: The Marauder Steel Band arrives by boat at the Cassadaga Beach. Driving the boat is Dennis Collins, president of the Cassadaga Lakes Association. Stand-ing is Cynthia Flaherty, director of the band.
Flaherty said, "We couldn't quite fit them in in one trip." Once the boat was near shore, the band members took off their life preservers revealing their colorful tie-dyed shirts. They began setting up their drums in the gazebo, preparing for their concert.
Meanwhile the boat parade traveled from the boat launch to the beach area. Colorful decorations adorned some of the boats. People in gorilla suits were passengers in boats launched by King Kone, a new ice cream business in Cassadaga. Some kayaks also were in the parade.
From the shore Gail Dash, a Cassadaga resident, pointed out a kayak operated by her cousin Cindy (Washington) Riggle. Riggle gave her a cheerful wave and then settled back to enjoy the concert.
The steel band performed to an appreciative audience, including the boats that sounded their horns and the seated audience who applauded the musicians.
After the concert, action moved to the outlet on Maple Avenue near the fire department. Volunteers Brad Blizzard and Peter George set up the finish line for the plastic duckies. Blue, pink, and yellow plastic ducks numbered on the bottom were dropped into the water by Blizzard and George.
George said, "Dennis Collins will be doing the announcements."
Collins served as color commentator, urging the crowd to cheer for their ducks and quacking jokes during the event.
There were about 28 prizes awarded to those whose ducks came in the forefront of the race. Those donating prizes were: Cassadaga Shurfine, Chuck Battaglia (Musky Itch Too), Cup a Joe Cafe, Deer Run Cabins, Denison Enterprises, Frederickson Builders Supply, Nordy's Pizza, Sandy's White Horse Inn, The Red House, Whiskey Hill Saloon, Cassadaga Country Club, and Grandma's Kitchen. The Cassadaga Lakes Association also supplied several cash prizes.
Collins summed up the event. "It's been a little reorganized this year. There are a few less prizes. I am happy with the event. This is our major fundraiser, and I want to thank everyone involved," he said.
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