Creator of fair’s popular Band Day passes away

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 4:45 PM EST
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GOUVERNEUR, New York (WWNY) - It’s a tradition that goes back 57 years - marching bands gathering to compete at the Gouverneur-St. Lawrence County Fair.

The event is all thanks to one man, Carlton Peck, who passed away Friday.

“Dad was the creator of what’s historically known here at the Gouverneur-St. Lawrence County Fair as Band Day, now Carlton Peck Day at the fair,” said Sean Peck, Carlton Peck’s son.

Carlton loved marching band, but there were never any awards to win. So, he started his own.

“All the band competitions that you see now, all the kids you see out there marching and competing, it all started right here on this track in 1964 with that first award,” said Sean.

The Peck family awards recognize talented bands and put competition into the fair.

“The kids all say the same thing to me: this was their favorite parade of the year. This ended their year, it was their last parade, and this was the one they all looked forward to,” said Sean.

Band Day quickly became the most popular event at the fair. Beth Martin, now the fair president, remembers competing herself.

“It became really special because the competition between bands became really intense...Even to this day we still have a good, good turnout for Band Day at the fair,” she said.

Now that Peck has passed, his legacy and Band Day will carry on through his son, who’s keeping the music alive.

“Every year, when I’m on this track and seeing these kids and hearing those bands, he’ll be here,” said Sean.

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