Parade, concert highlight West Point’s Independence Day celebration

By Capt. Jannelle Allong-Diakabana West Point Public Affairs

July 11th, 2019 | News, News and Features
Photos by PAO and the West Point Band
Members of the West Point Band’s Concert Band, Hellcats and Benny Havens Band performed at the annual Independence Day celebration at Trophy Point Sunday.  
Photos by by Dave Brzywczy  
Members of the 3rd Infantry Division’s Task Force 1-28th at West Point for Cadet Summer Training, marched in the Highland Falls Fourth of July Parade July 4. The task force was led by commander, Lt. Col. Stephen Magennis, and the unit also provided some of its equipment to participate in the parade.   Photos by Dave Brzywczy

On an unusually cool first week of July in the Hudson Valley, the Village of Highland Falls hosted their 51st annual Independence Day Parade and various festivities.
“When we walk out the gate, there will be thousands (of attendees). People in town don’t go on vacation until after the Fourth. All of their families come back,” Highland Falls Mayor Joseph D’Onofrio said.
Highland Falls, a small village adjacent to West Point, has remained a supportive and welcoming community attracting thousands of visitors every day.
According to D’Onofrio, the celebrations each year continue to transform and evolve. What was once a one-day event has become a four-day event.
Each year, various organizations, schools, marching bands and the West Point community provide participants to march in the parade.
This year, West Point provided the U.S. Military Academy Band, Color Guard and West Point Fire Department.
The Cadet Summer Training task force from the 3rd Infantry Division also provided more than 100 Soldiers and two tactical vehicles with mounted weapon systems to march in the parade.
“We have more floats this year, we have more participants. The one that tears at your heart are those troops right there. There will be applause nonstop, you will see,” said D’Onofrio referring to the Soldiers who were staging in preparation to march.
Roe Park was the center of attraction throughout the week, where events such as a 5K race, children’s fun run, watermelon-eating contest, egg toss, hula-hooping, bed races, a robust parade and fireworks show were all being hosted.
“Our parade is rather small, but our patriotic heart is large,” D’Onofrio said.
The West Point Band also hosted its annual concert on Sunday after being postponed due to weather. The event had more than 2,500 people from the West Point and surrounding communities in attendance and concluded with a fireworks show.
West Point would like to thank the people of the surrounding community, the mayor of Highland Falls, the 3rd Infantry Division, and West Point Garrison for their enduring support during this week of celebration.