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Sun., Oct. 4
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High school bands compete at Jefferson County Fair


Glitter, ribbons and lots of curls. That’s how they showed spirit.

Seven high school bands from Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties played popular modern and classic songs with tubas, clarinets and trumpets at the Jefferson County Fair band competition on Tuesday.

Represented at the competition at the Alex. T. Duffy Fairgrounds were Gouverneur Central, Heuvelton Central, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Lisbon Central and Morristown Central from St. Lawrence County, and General Brown Central and Thousand Islands Central from Jefferson County.

“Every year, St. Lawrence County brings down the most bands,” said fair secretary and competition announcer George A. Turner.

He said the fair, now in its 196th year, invites schools from Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties, but some schools do not have marching bands or stop their season after July 4.

“I’d love to have 15 to 20 bands here,” Mr. Turner said. “It’s also for the public to see where their tax dollars are going.”

This year, the competition officials decided to give medals to school mascots who showed the most spirit. This year’s first place went to the Ogdensburg Free Academy Blue Devil.

“The last few years we’ve been doing this, we noticed they do a lot of hard work,” Mr. Turner said.

Thousand Islands Central won first place in Class C, with 71.8 points. Heuvelton Central won first place in Class B, with 80.05 points.

Derek A. Fenton, 17, the Heuvelton drum major, ran down to pick up the trophy for his band. He also won first place in the drum major category.

Dressed in purple-sequined suspenders and a bow tie that he picked himself, Mr. Fenton said it was his first show at the fair.

“I loved the excitement of the crowd and how people reacted when you give them the show,” he said.

He said the band had worked for four months to perfect its music and performance of hits like “Celebration” and “The Harlem Shake.”

“Putting it all together was probably the hardest,” Mr. Fenton said. “I’m very proud of my band. They came a long way.”

The spelling bee, sponsored by the Watertown Daily Times, also took place on Tuesday. In the first- and second-grade category, Morgan Brady, Watertown, won first place. Annika Janzi, Sackets Harbor, placed second; Blake Foote, South Jefferson, third; Kyle Moore, Lyme, fourth, and Raya Maitland, Belleville Henderson, fifth.

In the third- to fifth-grade category, Noah Dickinson, Belleville Henderson, won first place. Drew Autote, Watertown, placed second; Mackenzie Boulton, South Jefferson, third; Andrew Thomas, South Jefferson, fourth, and Ashton Beebee, Watertown, fifth.

In the sixth- through eighth-grade category, Elissa Prieto, Watertown, won first place. Paul Grant, General Brown, placed second; Timothy Filatrault, Thousand Islands, third; Austin Sanford, Lyme, fourth, and Julia Dodge, Belleville Henderson, fifth.

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