Sunday, August 16, 2009

August 15, 2009 - Feast of the Assumption Mechanicville, NY

Our trip to Mechanicville began at 7am as the Birnie Bus left our rehearsal clubhouse to our destination - The Church of the Assumption.

Although it was the Feast of the Assumption it was a very sad day for the parishioners - they were having the last mass in this small church established in 1919.

We watched as the Blessed Sacrament was carried down the street to St. Paul's Church. Then we followed the procession along the route we have taken in previous years.

The weather was sunny and clear - it was also 91 degrees. Fortunately we had many stops along the way to replenish ourselves with food and cold drinks, including the food stops at Costanza's Restaurant and at the Clement's house on Round Lake Ave. which included a complete Italian meal and many home-made pies and desserts.
The procession was also accompanied by a barrage of fireworks everytime we stopped for a donation for the Saint. After the procession we escaped from the heat by sitting (and in some cases - napping) in the air-conditioned splendor of our bus.

The bus then returned us to Costanza's Restaurant where we enjoyed an Italian dinner courtesy of the restaurant before having to play a two hour concert at 6pm at the Festival Grounds.
We had a very large audience that was so appreciative when we played "Ave Maria" in honor of the Feast Day as well as singing along with our classic Italian songs. Since the grounds are by the Railroad yard - this year we were ready for the train. We played "Where do you work a-John"(the Delaware-Lackawana song) when the freight train passed through. Instead of the train drowning out our music - we provided a sound "track" for the train! Brilliant!

After the concert - so many people came up to thank us and say how much they enjoyed our music. A few expressed their fears of the future of the Feast because of the closing of their Church.

It really "strikes a chord" of how important the traditions are still being carried on by the Red Band - it is a fragile and significant role we play in our cultural society which we are so proud to be a part of.

Please click on link below for more photos of the days events.

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