Cape Vincent is located where Lake Ontario flows into the St. Lawrence River and Seaway.
The French were the first europeans to explore this area around 1615. In the late 1790’s and early 1800’s James LeRay de Chaumont acquired the land in this area and named the Cape for his son. LeRay, a Frenchman, married and became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon’s brother, Joseph, negotiated with LeRay for land that included Cape Vincent. The plan was to sneak Napoleon to Cape Vincent. However, Napoleon died in St. Helena before this was accomplished. Many French Army veterans and evacuees settled in the area and were major contributors to the growth and identity of the region.
Today the village celebrated it’s annual “French” Festival. It is only fitting that the parade be symbolically led by Napoleon.
There were display booths, food, a puppet show for the children,
and, of course the parade:
The parade had an abrupt ending as a torrential downpour occurred. However, after it was over, some of the members of the different marching bands had a jam session: