Army Aviation

Can-Am Festival Strengthens Ties Between Allies

Photo By Sgt. Jaidon Novinska | To show commitment to our community partners in the North Country, Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division participated in the Canadian-American Festival July 15, 2023, in Sackett’s Harbor, N.Y. The festival, starting in 1971, is a long running village tradition to celebrate friendship between Canada and America.

Story by Spc. Jaidon Novinska
27th Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers with the 10th Mountain Division participated in the Can-Am Festival on July 15 in Sackets Harbor, New York. The Can-Am Festival, which started in 1971, celebrates the national friendship between Canada and the United States.

The festival, which is celebrating its 51st anniversary, features music, a farmers’ market, children’s activities and more.

The 10th Mountain Division Marching Band marched in the parade in Sackets Harbor, performing for the crowd of attendees. In addition, Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade and the 10th Mountain Division Combat Aviation Brigade provided static displays for the festival and interacted with members of the community.

U.S. Army Capt. Michael Kirch, one of the Soldiers who worked the static displays for the Can-Am Festival, spoke about the importance of the division’s presence at this event.

“There’s a lot of people that don’t really understand what we do for military training,” Kirch said. “We’re here to support the community and help them understand the military a little bit more.”

“The Can-Am Festival is a great cross-border relationship for visitors from both sides,” said Connie Barone.

Barone is the site manager for the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, and a resident of the village since the 1950s. She expressed her appreciation for the military members of Fort Drum.

“Today, we have so many Fort Drum military individuals, plus the support, the families, and everyone it takes to run Fort Drum,” Barone said.

“They come to Sackets, they live in Sackets, and so this town has this really long history with the military and in particular, the Army.”

Another member of the community, Donald Matthews, a U.S. Army veteran and member of the Sackets Harbor Chamber of Commerce explained how important the festival is for the community and Fort Drum.

“Our military is nested right here in the North Country,” Matthews said. “With all these communities, it’s good to bring them together.”

Matthews also emphasized his gratitude and appreciation for the military involvement in the festival.

“I’m really happy that the military came out and Fort Drum had that outreach,” he said. “I think the local community appreciates seeing the men and women that serve our country, and having the chance to meet them and see what they do on a daily basis.”