People came out in droves to celebrate the 31st Annual General Montgomery Day on Saturday. After last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community members were eager to join in this year’s celebration.
Vendors lined up on Clinton and Union Streets to promote their products. Beezix Candy Co. of Highland sold a variety of different types of fudge as well as cotton candy and jawbreakers. The Business Council of Greater Montgomery distributed flyers filled with information about the organization. Meanwhile, children gathered in front of Montgomery Village Hall to pet the bunnies provided by Reenies Rabbit Rescue.
People from a variety of different organizations and affiliations were included in the parade. Tony Marano, a World War II veteran and the event’s grand marshal, rode in a flashy red sports car. The iconic Maybrook Scout Troop 236 Marching Band also made an appearance. The Humane Society of Walden marched in the parade along with some of their four-legged friends. Community members were also treated to free t-shirts, hurled to them by the DiMartino Paving float.
Members of the Faith Baptist Church made a float in honor of the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. They recreated the famous “Raising the Flag at Ground Zero” photograph. The photograph depicts three New York City firefighters raising the American flag at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center following the September 11th attacks.
Following the parade, the Montgomery Village Board presented Marano with a plaque in honor of his service as grand marshal of General Montgomery Day. Marano was supposed to serve as grand marshal for last year’s festivities, however General Montgomery Day was canceled. He was overjoyed that he was named grand marshal for the event.
“It means a lot to be recognized by the people and the officers of the Village of Montgomery,” Marano said.
Event attendees were also treated to concerts and displays at the Montgomery Village and Orange County Firefighters museums. Ralph Friedman, the New York City Police Department’s most decorated detective, signed copies of his book “Street Warrior: The True Story of the NYPD’s Most Decorated Detective and the Era That Created Him”. The event closed with fireworks at Montgomery Veterans Memorial Park.
Village of Montgomery Mayor Steve Brescia underscored the importance of General Montgomery Day and what it means to the community.
“This event is such a monumental event...,” he said. “It brings people together. It’s a piece of Americana here in the village. So much history, so much nostalgia, so much family. You’re losing that in America but you’re not losing it in Montgomery.”