SCHUYLERVILLE -- The 19th annual Turning Point Parade is three months away, but the organizers already have big news for fans of drum and bugle corps.
This year’s parade scheduled for 1 p.m., Aug. 4, will feature a reunion of Green Sabres Drum and Bugle Corps, which was organized in 1949 and traveled extensively, appearing in John F. Kennedy’s and Lyndon Johnson’s inaugural parades, at Expo ’67 in Montreal and a wide variety of other events. The group disbanded in 1976.
The Green Sabres will be back this year, and instead of a grand marshal, parade organizers are asking all former members of the group to get back together and march in the parade.
Following the parade, the international group, Drum Corps Associates (DCA), will present the Turning Point Invitational at Schuylerville Central School. The event, hosted by the Excelsior Drum Corps from Troy, will start at 3:30 p.m. at the athletic fields at the School.
The competition is expected to be the only drum corps event in the region this summer, because the annual Adirondack Drums in Glens Falls was canceled,
“Excelsior called us and we talked about the competition, and that’s why we decided to reach out to the Green Sabres alumni,” said Byron Peregrem, the parade chairman. “We said he wanted to honor one of the great corps that we in the area 35 years ago. We said, ‘Let’s play it up,’ ”
Competing corps will be able to march in the parade, which starts at the high school and proceeds down Route 29 and right onto Routes 4 and 32 to the southern end of the village.
“That will increase the amount of the music in the parade dramatically,” Peregrem said, noting the parade already usually has about 15 groups.
According to the DCA website, Excelsior, the Windsor Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and the Bushwackers have already agreed to take part. Those three groups, along with seven others, are taking part in the “March of Champions” in Kingston the day before. More bands are expected.
The Bushwackers, from Harrison, are six-time DCA national champions, and Windsor already has an award this season, being recognized as the “Best Brass Band” in the Holyoke, Mass., St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The parade is part of a three-day festival which commemorates the Battles of Saratoga, which are seen as the turning point of the Revolutionary War.
The two-day festival kicks off on the morning of Aug. 3 and continues through the next day. It will be held at Fort Hardy Park.
There will be a carnival and pony rides, as well as vendors. An “old-fashioned street dance” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, and there will be a community bonfire at dusk.
After the parade Sunday, there will be live music and a fireworks display will follow.
Those interested in vending at the event can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to support the festival should send a check to Jean Driscoll, treasurer, 4 Church St., Schuylerville, NY 12871.