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General Brown Festival draws thousands; activities continue today

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BROWNVILLE — The 37th annual General Brown Weekend Festival was in full-swing Saturday afternoon, with carnival rides, village-wide yard sales, a car show, food, games and fun. Committee members in light green shirts were out and about at the booths as vendors and thousands of guests centered around the General Jacob Brown Mansion.

John F. Connor recalled attending the festival throughout his childhood, growing up in Brownville. As a teen, decked out in the General’s attire, his photo ran in the Watertown Daily Times. Today, he is one of approximately 12 committee members dedicated to continuing the festival, while returning it to its family-friendly and history-focused roots.

Planning for the event, said Mr. Connor, “is a year-long pursuit.”

Committee member Cheri L. O’Connor said organizers will take the next month to collect feedback, both good and bad, from the public, using the suggestions to improve the event next year.

Organizational meetings will begin again in the fall.

Recent changes with the festival encourage local crafters with homemade wares, nonprofits and youth groups to participate.

On Saturday night the streets were packed with parade-goers, with a fireworks display at dusk.

Today’s events begin with a craft fair at the mansion from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. A chicken barbecue will begin at noon, with a soap box derby starting at 1 p.m.

The 10th Mountain Brass Band will perform at 2 p.m. at the mansion and an ice cream social will be held at 2:30 p.m.

An ultimate frisbee tournament will be held at General Brown High School, Dexter, from 4 to 8 p.m.

For a full schedule of events or to suggest ideas for next year, visit the event’s Facebook page at http://wdt.me/VcSYSE.



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