More than 6,000 Soldiers and Family Members took a day off to enjoy Riverfest at one of northern New York’s most picturesque areas – Alexandria Bay.
From a barbecue lunch to bouncy houses, craft tables and a rock-climbing wall, event-goers had plenty to do on the “mainland” before boarding a riverboat for a tour of the St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands. After the hourlong cruise, passengers could disembark at historic Boldt Castle, located on Heart Island.
Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff members pulled out all the stops to help ensure Soldiers and Families had a great time.
Another factor that added to the fun was the exceptional weather – sunny skies and a nice, cool breeze.
Harold Greer, FMWR director, said Riverfest was “an absolutely exceptional day.”
“If you noticed as you entered Alexandria Bay, all the poles were decorated with yellow ribbons,” he said. “What a celebration for our war heroes and their Families (who) are coming out today.”
Sgt. Adam Pagart, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and his wife, Mallory, said this year’s event was the first Riverfest they had attended.
“We love it,” Mallory Pagart said. “We’ve never been up to the Thousand Islands. We will definitely come back.”
Although the couple has been stationed at Fort Drum for 2 ½ years, this is the first FMWR event they have attended because of training requirements and deployments, according to Adam Pagart.
“It’s really nice,” he said. “We’d like to go to more events like this.”
Spc. Billy Little, 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, brought his wife, Kandice, and son, Max, 3, to this year’s event.
Kandice Little said that while it was not the first time the Family had gone to Riverfest, this was the first year they opted for the riverboat ride.
“We liked it; it was a lot of fun,” she said. “Max loved the boat. He’s been talking about the bouncy houses since we got on the boat.”
Max said he had fun and enjoyed the boat ride.
“(I liked seeing) the big house,” he said.