Burnt Hills Thursday, June 7 will mark the 11th year for the Burnt Hills Flag Day Parade, an idea introduced by BHBL teacher Gary Bynon shortly after Nine Eleven.
The parade kicks off at 7 p.m. and spans one mile from the Burnt Hills Bowling Alley to Pizza Works on Route 50. There is also a race down the parade route at 6:45 p.m. Parking is available at BHBL High School.
Richard Doyle, president of the Burnt Hills Ballston Lake Business and Professional Association said Bynon approached the board with the idea telling them, “I loved parades as a kid and I wish our kids had more of a chance to enjoy them too. It gives people a chance to celebrate our community and express a love for the flag and all it stands for.”
The impetus for the gathering was from a way to pull together after the terrorist attacks. “It was the thought that we need something to kind of rally ourselves up with some pride in the country and the flag and serving,” said Doyle. The association has been sponsoring the parade since the beginning.
“It’s the one time the community gets together as a whole to celebrate something. One of the greatest things about this parade is you know about 90 percent of the people walking down…you can call them by name. That’s community, that’s being part of something bigger than just one house or one street,” said Doyle.
The parade has welcomed crowds of nearly 2,000 people in the past and includes 1,500 participants. Fireworks and other events have been added as it has grown.
This year’s Grand Marshal is BHBL Superintendent Jim Schultz who is retiring after 41 years of service to the district, eight of them as superintendent.
“If you talk to Jim for any length of time, you understand that his commitment to the children is superb…he is committed to the children, to the education of our children in this community. …He really comes with a unique perspective of life in our community,” said Doyle.