New Fairfield Sparklers Youth Drum Corps Kick Off 41st Season With St. Patrick’s Day March

New Fairfield Sparklers Youth Drum Corps Kick Off 41st Season With St. Patrick’s Day March

On Saturday, March 11, 2012, the New Fairfield Sparklers Youth Drum Corps kicked off their 41st season by marching in the Northern Westchester/Mahopac St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It was their first parade of their marching season and members were pleased it was such a warm, sunny day. The parade is the third largest in New York state and takes place annually on Route 6 in Mahopac, New York.  This marked the parade’s 36th consecutive year.

Jerry Grant has been organizing the bands who play in the parade for the last 17 years. This year’s parade was dedicated to the military. Grant said: “This year we dedicated it to them  and it is well deserved. There are a  lot going overseas and some are not coming back.”

In addition to several Irish and high school marching bands the parade included Irish step dancing schools and many local area businesses. The New York Fraternal Order of marched, led by a large group of motorcyclists. One marcher, Patrick Gorham  from the Westchester Firefighters was all decked out in traditional Irish attire, complete with kilt.  Proud of his heritage he said:  “My Grandparents are from Galway and Wexford Ireland  and I have been marching in this parade for years. Wearing the kilt can be cold at times but I suffer through,” he said with a laugh.

For John and Cheryl Reiner of New Fairfield it is a family affair. The couple have led the non-profit youth drum corps for more than 2 decades and their two teenaged children have been involved since they were young. One of the few remaining youth drum corps in the area, the Sparklers are always seeking new members. “It’s tough to compete with sports and all the other many activities kids today are involved with but the kids who are involved really get a lot out of it and it looks great on a college application,” Cheryl said.

As part of their membership students get individual, as well as group instruction by trained professionals. Choices of instruments to learn include drums, bells, fife and trumpet. Students ages 8-18 are welcome to participate. They can compete in competitions throughout the state and march in  a number of parades. Some students like being involved because many of the parades have carnivals or fairs they go to afterward. Social activities as well as an awards dinner are planned each season and students enjoy a sense of camaraderie while learning an instrument for a very low cost of yearly dues.

The New Fairfield Youth Drum Corps will be participating in the Greater Danbury Area  Drum Corps Association competition on Sunday, May 6, 2012 at the Bethel Municipal Center.

For more information about the New Fairfield Sparklers Youth Drum Corps please call Cheryl Reiner at 203-746-0784 or email

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Posted on March 19, 2012, in Home. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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