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Colton looks to the past for 30th annual Country Days

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COLTON — The town’s annual Country Days returns for the 30th year today, with many events celebrating Colton’s past and present.

One new addition is the “1940’s Radio Hour,” a stage performance designed to look like it is taking place in a World War II-era radio station. The play debuted Thursday.

The first half of the show is called “Story of a Town.” It tells the tales of Colton residents during the 1940’s, many of whom are World War II veterans.

The stories were gathered by the Colton Historical Society in an effort to create an oral history of the war before it is too late.

“We realized that a lot of our World War II vets were passing away, and we were quickly losing that knowledge,” said Colton Tourism and Beautification Committee Chair Ruth T. McWilliams.

The second half is devoted to music and dance of the era.

“The music is fabulous, the singing is wonderful, the story is great. It’s really just a wonderful production,” Ms. McWilliams said.

The show starts at 3:30 p.m. today and Sunday at Colton-Pierrepont Central School. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

The play was inspired by last year’s production of “Sunday Rock,” a musical looking at life in Colton in 1912. The plan is to continue the tradition by looking to other eras.

“The hope is to put on a play each year that has some kind of historical impact,” said Colton Historical Society Chair Cynthia S. Hennessy.

Today’s events will run from 9 am. to 3 p.m. One of the highlights every year is the frog jumping contest at 9:30 a.m., which draws between 60 and 70 young contestants, according to Ms. Hennessy.

“The frog jump is always a hit,” she said.

Thrill-seekers from all over will come to Stone Valley Park for the whitewater release from Brookfield Power’s Colton Dam, a paradise for advanced kayakers.

Main Street will be lined with vendors and activities. Other events include an ice cream social and fireworks at sundown.

“We’re sure hoping the weather is good,” Ms. McWilliams said.

On Sunday the town will hold a free fishing derby from 8 a.m. to noon for children ages 3 to15.

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