CAPE VINCENT – Broadway Street was packed again as people from all over New York flocked to the Cape Vincent French Festival over the weekend.
Maureen Milke and her husband Dale are from the Rochester area and decided to check out the festival before heading home.
“We have a family cottage on the other side of Alex Bay and we’re coming back to Rochester so we thought we’d stop by and check it out on our way home,” said Mr. Milk.
French pastries, French bread and vendors are what drew the couple to the festival.
Mykel “Quince” Myrick attended the event.
“I love Cape Vincent, so I appreciate the opportunity and imagine coming out here and having a beautiful day like today and seeing all these people,” he said. “I just feel so energized and grateful.”
Joan Lauricella, of Central Square, attended the festival to watch the parade.
“My husband’s parents have a camp on Peninsula Point, so we come and try to make it to the French Festival every year,” she said.
This was her first time at the festival in three years.
She said there were a lot more people at the festival this year than in years past. Nicole Paratore, vice-president of the Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce and festival chair, said she had heard the same thing.
“Some people are saying they think this is the biggest event they’ve seen here in 20 years,” Ms Paratore said. “I’ve only lived here 15 years, so I can’t confirm or deny that and I don’t know how people judge that, but I can tell you that every parking lot was full and we got to a point where we were running. in some emergency challenges and we had to start completely blocking traffic in places where we never had to block traffic because of the safety of passing cars.”
Francis A. Letizia Jr., co-owner of Telly’s Inn, was upset with the way the roads were blocked and said he plans to sue the village for lost profits. He continued by saying that “he is done with the room”.
Ms Paratore said fire police were diverting traffic on Grant Road to see where motorists were going and if they had to come into town they were allowed to.
“If people were trying to park, (fire police) were diverting them right onto Grant Street into our large parking lot to transport them into town,” she said. She also said that if people told them they were going to drive into town not for the festival they were allowed to.
Last year, due to a smaller event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic was not diverted on Bay Street, according to Ms. Priory. She also said every year before, this has been where people have been diverted to park and it depends on New York State and what the fire marshal says is best to keep people safe.
Lady Paratore said traffic diversions would be in place after the parade, which was around 3.30pm.
Although the traffic was not diverted after the end of the parade, Mr. Letizia said he still plans to sue for lost earnings from noon until then.
Robin Adams, of Watertown, said he enjoys watching the parade.
“There are a lot of people here today,” she said. She thinks there were a lot of people out because of the previous two years affected by the pandemic.
Jennifer Hynes, of Heuvelton, said she comes out every year to watch her daughter march in the parade. Ms. Hynes said she also marched in the parade.
Mrs Paratore said the room was excited for the French Festival to feel more normal this year.
“It’s been a tradition for us in this community for over 50 years, and we’re very excited to have it back and back to normal size, and we’re going to continue to do everything we have to do to make it happen. just the right size for our community and make it a great event for people to come,” Ms. Paratore said.
The fun started Friday with a block party, continued all day Saturday with a parade and fireworks display, and vendors wrapped up the weekend Sunday.
“I’m glad to see people are out and having a good time,” said Ms. Adams.