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St. Lawrence Centre kicks off county Independence Day celebrations

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MASSENA - Despite her best efforts, Mother Nature was unable to put a damper on the mood Thursday as the St. Lawrence Centre 24th annual Independence Day Bash drew scores of excited visitors.

The activities began at 4 p.m. as the mall parking lot was converted into a makeshift festival featuring plenty of returning favorites and a handful of new options.

“Our biggest draw that we get here is the live music that happens. We have it start at about 5 p.m. and it goes all the way up until about 9:30, 9:45. And of course our fireworks at 10:15p.m. are our largest event of the day,” St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Assistant Lindsey S. Breitbeck said. “Other things that we like to point a finger to are the BD Entertainment bounce houses that are for the kids to come out and use. We have pony rides that are low cost and free face painting as well. Also we have free public skating and skate rental at the St. Lawrence Centre Arena. So we have a lot of family fun events going on here.”

New items on the pre-Independence Day celebration agenda included a fitness contest hosted by The Temple and a second ever Miss Massena pageant.

The fitness competition allowed people to participate in a pull-up or tire flipping contest.

The pageant featured females from infant to 18 years old competing for trophies in their age group while wearing various red, white and blue clothing.

Prize categories included best eyes, best smile, best hair and best attire. Each age group also had princess’ and queens named.

Mall officials said that while there were some rain drops Thursday evening, the people didn’t seem to mind.

“It was actually supposed to be just about this temperature and sunny, but we’ll take it as long as the rain holds off,” Ms. Breitbeck said.

“We’ve got a couple of new additions including the Coast Guard providing seaway safety and other safety lessons for all of us in the community,” St. Lawrence Centre General Manager David P. Viola said. “So far so good in terms of the weather. We’ll be keeping an eye on the radar but it looks like it’s going to kind of go south of us and won’t be too bad.”

Ding-A-Ling’s Ice Cream Truck and Breezy Maples Farm provided treats and rides respectively.

Other activities included free face painting by Belly Buttons the Clown, a demonstration by the Massena Rescue Squad and Massena Volunteer Fire Department, an outdoor concert, a beverage garden provided by Vino Vidi Vici, the free skating and concluded with the what was billed as the county’s largest fireworks display.

Whether it be the frequent Independence Day Bash returnees or some newcomers, most seemed to be enjoying themselves.

“This is actually my first time. I usually only go for the fireworks. I didn’t actually know they had this and I drove right by and didn’t even see it,” Robert Wagner said. “I’m taking the kids to the bounce houses and checking out some of the attractions here. I actually go to the MMA gym, Energy BJJ that is here, so it’s nice to come here and support my team.”

“We just got here and they both want the ponies,” Jessica Fukes, Brasher Falls, said of her children. “We’re planning on having dinner here, maybe shopping a little and we’ll see if we stay late enough for the fireworks later.”

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