FONDA - A year after flood waters ravaged homes and businesses along the Mohawk River and forced the postponement of some Fonda Fair activities, the Fonda Fair Good Ol' Days Parade returned Monday to give back to the community.
The fair waived admission fees until noon for the final day of the fair so more people would turn out to see the parade, said parade director Tim Conrad.
"I think [the parade] was for the people, and if you look in the stands, we had more people in the stands this year," Conrad said. "This is what we're trying to do - give back and show them they can come out. We've had a tragedy and everything in the area, but we're able to come back.
Above, the Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band performs at the Good Ol’ Days Parade Monday at the 171st Fonda Fair. The band won the pipe band Novice Juvenile World Championship on Aug. 11 in Scotland.
The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini
"Some of the people here aren't back in their houses. By having this free day at the fair for them, more or less, at least they can come with their kids [and] see a nice parade," Conrad said.
The Good Ol' Days Parade Monday at the 171st Fonda Fair featured - among others - local fire departments, vintage and pristine vehicles and the World Novice Juvenile Champion Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band, which was one of three bands to perform in the parade.
The Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band has participated in the Fonda Fair since 2009, and after missing the fair last year due to the storms, the group returned this year just over three weeks after being crowned the world champions on Aug. 11.
"I'm sure [the members] were honored to be a part of [the parade]," said Maureen Connell, director of the Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band. "I know a number of the kids were involved with volunteer efforts after the flood last year in various areas throughout the region.
"It's real important to show our support to the community. Pipe bands are often used in various roles. I think it's a great honor to be a part of the parade this year," Connell said.
All three bands - which also included the Albany Pipe Band and the Red Caps Marching Band - took 25 percent less money than they normally ask for to participate in the parade.
The parade also handed out awards, including the best fire department, which went to Canajoharie, best theme to the Farm Girls, best overall float to the Dairy Princess, the newest piece of equipment to the Mohawk Volunteer Fire Department, and the oldest piece of equipment to a green Mack truck.
Overall, Conrad was pleased with the turnout, but said his goal is to make each parade bigger and better each year.
Monday marked the final day of the fair, which began Aug. 28.
Other events at the fair Monday included an open draft animal show, a 4-H livestock and dairy awards ceremony, a demolition derby, karaoke, talent contests, an art fair and other entertainment, along with midway rides, shows and food vendors.