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Sleepy town wakes for annual festivities

Charlton’s Founder’s Day Parade is a big draw in a weekend of festivities that will take place on Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3. Photo Submitted.

Charlton’s Founder’s Day Parade is a big draw in a weekend of festivities that will take place on Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3. Photo Submitted.

Charlton takes pride in the fact the town still has six operating dairy farms and many horse farms that have begun in the area as of late. The dairy industry alone has lost countless farms due to a drop in milk prices in the last few years, so the fact that the town has retained six of them is no small feat.

“Agriculture is a big part of not only our history, but a big part of what we are today. Recognizing (our roots) is a key ingredient that we have, we have such a rich history … people really support it,” Grattidge said.

Saturday night’s Party in the Park is a big draw and includes a fireworks show. Empire State Fireworks puts on the show, which is one of the “best shows in the area” according to Grattidge. A crowd of approximately 2,500 has been witness to the event in the past.

“We love our history here in Charlton and this is our weekend, once a year to celebrate all the great things that go on in Charlton. … Party in the Park is really a family gathering of townspeople to come and see your neighbors, people that you haven’t seen all year,” said Grattidge.

For Sunday’s parade, Grattidge said many groups participate and the horses are “the last ones allowed in the parade just in case they leave any calling cards.”

The Historical Society’s Parade Committee Chairman Torben Aabois a native of Denmark, but has fully embraced Charlton and its history. He has even served as the society’s president in the early 1990s.

“When I moved to Charlton and found out about the history I became very interested,” Aabo said.

Aabo said he is impressed with the turnout for the parade.

“Standing at the roadside and meeting townspeople … seeing them and saying ‘Hi’ is great. It’s very community oriented,” he said.

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