FULTON, NY – This is the 31st year of Fulton’s Memorial Day Salute. It doesn’t seem possible that this community-wide event was started in 1981.
Four service clubs, Lions, Rotary, JayCees, and the Kiwanis clubs, started the event.
After a few years the Optimist Club replaced the JayCees, but they disbanded and so the present fourth service club, which was started in 1999, is Sunrise Rotary.
The original purpose was three-fold.
We wanted a community wide event that everyone in our community, especially the children, could participate in. We wanted to offer a program, or series of events, that would thank all of our present and former service men and women for their service to our country. And we wanted to bring the people of our community a weekend of music by nationally and locally recognized performers or groups.
When it comes to entertainment, the service clubs have provided the Fulton audiences with some great music over the years. The emphasis has mostly been on the popular music of the 1950s through the 1970s.
This music could be defined in broad terms as “Rock ‘N Roll.”
Groups that have appeared on the Recreation Park stage over the years are: Bill Haley and The Comets, Little Richard, Chubby Checker, Herman’s Hermits, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, Bobby Vee, country star, Jim Ed Brown, The Lovin Spoonful, Tribute to the Beatles (Let It Be), Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, Jay and The Americans, A Tribute To Elvis and last year, Orleans.
One group that has not appeared on our stage is “Nik & The Nice Guys,” America’s No. 1 Party Band.
This year, Fulton Savings Bank will sponsor Nik & The Nice Guys on the Community Center stage on May 26 starting at 7 p.m.
Nik and the Nice Guys is a high energy, rock and roll band, featuring 11 multi-talented musicians/performers, including female singers/dancers and a horn section called the Niktones.
Besides playing great mainstream rock and roll, the group conveys a touch of Saturday Night Live craziness, while at the same time encouraging audience participation and dancing.
The band’s popularity stems from its role as house band on two early 1990s TV series: ESPN’s “The Lighter Side of Sports” and the NBC/ syndicated TV series “The Bob Uecker Sports Show.”
Nice Guy performing credits include performances at the past 10 Super Bowls, numerous shows at past Winter and Summer Olympics, Canada’s Grey Cup Festival, and special events hosted by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Lee Jeans, Reebok, Apple Computer, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Blue Jays, and Time Magazine etc.
Nik and the Nice Guys was formed by a group of hockey players on scholarship at St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY) that included National Hockey League coach Mike Keenan and present day Nik manager Gary Webb. The group disbanded upon graduation, but then re-formed in the 1980s in Rochester, when Keenan accepted a coaching job with the Rochester Americans.
Originally, the recreated Nik was a means for day-time business professionals to become night-time party animals raising funds for charity.
However, the continued success of the band has led to a full-time musical and professional touring and recording commitment.
Jim Myers, long time entertainment chairman for the Memorial Day Salute, has released the balance of the entertainment schedule for the weekend.
On May 25, the G. Ray Bodley High School Jazz band will perform at 5 p.m. Rick Bush will be on stage from 6-7 p.m. followed by one of Central New York’s favorite duos, Domicolo & Barlow. They will play until the fireworks start at about 10 p.m.
On May 26, Oswego County’s largest parade will move down Broadway, from east to west, starting at 10 a.m. and commentated by Tom Owens from B104.7.
This will be followed by several of the parade marching bands playing at a “Stand-In” on the Community Center stage from noon to 2 p.m. “Virgil The Magician,” will entertain the children and adults alike at 2 p.m. The Fulton Dixieland Band will be on stage at 3:30 p.m. followed by Fulton Community Band at 5 p.m. and the music of Vince Markowsky at 6 p.m. Nik & The Nice Guys take the stage at 7 p.m.
The Memorial Day Salute opens at 5 p.m. on Friday and closes at 11 p.m. after the fireworks are over. On Saturday, the hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. During these hours, delicious food and beverage and many rides will be available.