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Lisbon celebrates homecoming with parade

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LISBON — People from all over S. Lawrence County lined Main Street from Lisbon Central School to the Lisbon Medical Center on Saturday morning to watch the town’s annual homecoming parade.

From the town fire and rescue departments to dairy farms, political campaigns and gun enthusiasts, people with pride in their town marched through it waving signs and flags, tossing candy and honking horns.

Nancy D. McCullough and Cindy H. Carr, both of Lisbon, organized the parade after being asked by the Lisbon Hometown Committee.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and the community comes together well for this,” Ms. Carr said. “I’m thankful to everybody for their time, patience, kindness and for working with us.”

Ms. McCullough said the town-funded parade was free for anyone who wanted to participate. Other organizations in the community also contributed sponsorship of the parade.

“They come home for the parade,” Ms. McCullough said. “We always have Legions and fire departments from all over the county, so they do participate from all over the county.”

Two women who participated in the parade have lived in Lisbon for 83 years. Bessie N. Seguin and Betty H. Seguin are twins who were driven through the parade in the back of a convertible, each sporting a tiara. The two never thought they’d be beauty queens at this age, their driver said.

“We never thought we’d see her in the parade again,” said Chelsey E. Carr, Bessie’s 22-year-old granddaughter.

Amy M. Chester was managing a float representing her Lisbon dairy farm, C&M Dairy. The float had lots of children on board and people dressed up as cows surrounding it.

“We’re very pleased to participate,” Ms. Chester said. “The homecoming is enjoyable and it’s nice to have everybody get together in the township.”

The Northern New York Freedom Fighters was among several groups protesting the NY SAFE Act gun-control restrictions and encouraging people to vote.

“There’s no clubhouse, no meetings, just a bunch of guys that are sick and tired of the way things are,” said Larry I. Kring, a member of the group.

The Lisbon Central School marching band also made its way down Main Street as the last march of their season.

“This is our way to give back to the community,” said Glenn O. Roberts, Canton, who has been Lisbon’s band director for 12 years. “When we first got started they fundraised like crazy to help us get our uniforms and drums and everything. They’ve always been very supportive of us.”

When the parade ended at the Lisbon Medical Group, the town wasn’t done celebrating.

It held a surprise ceremony changing the name of the Lisbon Medical Group to Alan J. Winney Medical Center, in honor of the town’s health officer of 37 years who recently retired.

Mr. Winney served as a member and chief of the town’s rescue squad as well as a member of the fire department before becoming Lisbon’s town health care provider and health officer.

Tears were Mr. Winney’s initial reaction as the honor came as a complete surprise.

“It was very, very humbling,” he said. “I’m just in disbelief.”

Mr. Winney said it was an honor to be celebrated during the homecoming weekend because it brings so many people back home and all different organizations are involved.

“I thank the community for their acceptance of me as their health officer for 37 years,” he said. “It was an enjoyable experience and I hope I played a small part in their lives.”


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