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GOOD NEWS!: Coeymans marks 350 years of history and heritage

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Marchers from the Coeymans Hollow Volunteer Fire Corporation passing under a massive U.S. flag outside the Coeymans firehouse on Main and Westerlo streets. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

COEYMANS — The town turned out in huge numbers this weekend to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Coeymans, culminating in a parade from the village to Coeymans Landing on Saturday afternoon.

After opening ceremonies at the Landing, it was time for Coeymans to party.

The parade stepped off at 1 p.m. beginning in the vicinity of the railroad overpass and Magnolia Circle, where four divisions of drum lines, marching bands, fire departments, local businesses and community groups waited to step off.

The parade was led by six grand marshals, all of whom also took part in the town’s big tricentennial festivities 50 years ago, back in 1973.

Deputy Town Supervisor Brandon LeFevre, who co-chaired the 350th Anniversary Committee with Town Councilwoman Marisa Tutay, said the grand marshals represented all corners of Coeymans, from the village of Ravena to Coeymans Hollow and Alcove.

“All of these fine people have been lifelong residents of different enclaves of the town,” LeFevre said.

The grand marshals were Nancy Bruno, Paul Caswell, Eugene Datri, Blondie Neri, Ismay Payne and Nancy Travis.

The parade’s grand marshals at the opening ceremony. Pictured, left to right, are Paul Caswell, Nancy Bruno, Ismay Payne and Blondie Neri. Not pictured are grand marshals Eugene Datri and Nancy Travis. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Students from the music department at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District performed the national anthem at the start of the ceremony at the Landing, under the direction of Michelle McLoughlin, RCS High School Choral Director and K-12 Art and Music Curriculum Content Specialist.

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-20, presented the town council with a proclamation from the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

“Today is a celebration of community, a celebration of history and heritage and preservation,” Tonko said. “This is the place we call home, or the place we visit as a destination.”

The day was a celebration in honor of the granting of the Coeymans Patent on April 7, 1673, by Gov. Francis Lovelace, and the pride of place continues to this day, Tonko said.

“It is a great rich history of a community of people that have continued along that pattern of Dutch history that was your beginning and has now developed into a diverse area of activity,” Tonko said.

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-20, right, presents Town Supervisor George McHugh with a proclamation in honor of the 350th anniversary of the Coeymans Patent. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102, and state Sen. Neil Breslin, D-46, were unable to attend the ceremony but provided the town with proclamations honoring the historic day.

Deputy Albany County Executive Dan Lynch presented a proclamation from the county on behalf of Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, who was also unable to attend.

Town Supervisor George McHugh said town residents live in several communities, from Coeymans to Ravena to Alcove, Coeymans Hollow and New Baltimore, but they are all residents of Coeymans.

“Regardless of where we receive our mail, we are all town of Coeymans residents and we should keep that in mind not just on days like today, but every day,” McHugh said. “We should put aside all high school rivalries and petty differences and remember that we all call Coeymans home. We have much to be proud of as Coeymans residents — Coeymans has endured 103 years longer than our country and our history is deep in tradition, honor, sacrifice and pride.”

Parade participants wave from a large float as it enters Coeymans Landing. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

Tutay thanked the sponsors of the anniversary festivities and the committee that organized all of the celebratory events.

Tutay and LeFevre co-chaired the committee, which also consisted of Joseph Boehlke, Kelly Castle, Heather Collins, Mark Deyo, Michelle Kapusta, Patti LeFevre, Barb Lisa, Town Clerk Candace McHugh, Rosemary McHugh, Marlene McTigue, Carol McDonald, Steve and Tracy Douglas, Ginny Pearson, Joan Radley and Karen Waddingham.

“They did a tremendous job in helping keep this organized and we are so very grateful to them,” Tutay said.

After the opening ceremony, there were performances by Sugar Skull and The Refrigerators, and an array of vendors were set up throughout the park. The Albany County Sheriff’s Department provided a rock wall for kids to climb and Carver Companies sponsored the carnival rides, fireworks tugboat and a shuttle that ferried people to and from the parking lot at the elementary school and the Landing where the celebration took place.

A fireworks show concluded the day’s festivities at nightfall.

Happy 350th anniversary, Coeymans!

A huge parade from the village to Coeymans Landing opened the day’s festivities Saturday to celebrate the town’s 350th anniversary. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media
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