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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

One Day Left of Florida’s Birthday Bash

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Sunday, June 19, 2005

Florida celebrated its' bicentennial with a blaze of glory on June 18.[All photos by Sue Bush]
View Slide Show
Florida – A June 17 barbecue and fireworks display was deemed amazing by numerous spectators, a 2,100-pallett bonfire ignited on June 18 was a tower of blazing glory, and the June 19 Florida 200th birthday celebration finale promises to offer more fun and excitement.

Events begin at 8 a.m. with a pancake and sausage breakfast at the town’s Senior Center. A scheduled 1 p.m. firemen’s muster will showcase firefighters from various fire departments as they compete against each other during games that are fun to watch but also demonstrate firefighter skills.


Blacksmith Michael Tennyson displayed old-time craftsmanship during the celebration.
The Dixie Cats band is set to perform at 1 p.m., and other events include a sheepdog demonstration, performances by the Berkshire Line Dancers and the Flying Garbanzos, and at 5 p.m., a local legend known as the Hoarse Chorus are slated to perform.

The River Road celebration site is a maze of interesting exhibits, games, and vendors. Journeyman blacksmith Michael Tennyson captivated crowds on June 18 with his old-style, authentic craftsmanship and is expected to return for the celebration’s final day.

The town Historical Society has assembled a massive display of town history and events, including a photograph of the original Hoarse Chorus members. A quilt, hand-made by the Florida Baptist Church Ladies Aid Society, is on display and will be raffled. The large quilt features photographs of many old town buildings.

Bubbles were only one of the amusements for children.


The Florida Mountain Snowmobile Club has set up a booth to sell t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other items. The club offers financial contributions to organizations including the town parent-teacher group, the historical society, and has held a fundraiser in memory of John Breen every year since Breen’s death in 2002. The first Breen fundraiser raised money for Breen’s family and subsequent revenues have been added to a scholarship fund launched in Breen’s memory.

The club has raised $7,000 for the scholarship to date.
The North Adams Elks Lodge is operating a “wheel of chance” game, and face-painting and children’s activities are plentiful. On Saturday, 8 new bicycles ranging in size from tricycle to a 24-inch two-wheeled bicycle were given to children who held winning tickets. There was no charge for the tickets, and the Florida Volunteer Fire

Town resident Stanley Brown...or is it?
Department sponsored the giveaway.

Fire truck rides offered on Saturday were a huge hit, and passengers were able to board a newer-model bright red engine or climb up on a 1937 Dodge Brothers LaFrance fire truck that was fully restored by members of the town fire department.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, cotton candy, French fries and onion rings were popular fare but the workers who a strawberry shortcake booth may have been the most harried and faced the most customers. Food and beverages will be on sale during the celebration’s final day.

There is no admission charge to enter the celebration grounds.

Vendors found eager buyers for their wares.


A Florida Bicentennial celebration multi-photograph slideshow will be posted at www.iberkshires.com during the upcoming week. Additional coverage of the event will also be reported at www.iberkshires.com.

Susan Bush may be reached at 802-823-9367 or by e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net.
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