Mirror lakeFather's Day can be celebrated in a myriad of ways around the Adirondack Park, Lake Placid, Wilmington and beyond. From a casual brunch or delicious dinner to a day on the links, there are plenty of things to do to let fathers know how much they are appreciated.

Originating in 1910, the concept of a Father's Day is credited to Sonora Smart Dodd (Spokane, Washington) who wanted to honor her Civil War veteran father with raising Dodd and her five siblings. Local religious leaders further supported the concept and June 19th (Dodd's father's birthday) became the first celebration. President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed Father's Day a national holiday in 1966 to be observed the third Sunday of June. The day to honor fathers (or male caregivers) was signed into law in 1972.

June 19th has another significant link to history, similar to Dodd's father, tied to the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation may have freed slaves, but the news took 2 ½ years to reach the quarter-million slaves still in captivity in Texas. The date the announcement was made, June 19th,1865, became known as Juneteenth. Though only an official holiday in Texas, Juneteenth is celebrated in more than half of the states, commemorating the end of slavery. 

John Brown FarmFor our Father's Day, my kids have all sorts of ideas to show their dad how much they care, though I am pretty confident that some of the ideas have little to do with father's choice. From such simple plans as having "their friends" over so Dad can have a day off to a making giant ice cream sundaes, sometimes it is the thought that counts.

Two events around the High Peaks area that will be fun for all members of the family are the 4th Annual Kite Fest in Keene and Juneteenth at John Brown Farm.


The fourth annual East Branch Friends of the Arts Kite Fest will take place at Marcy Field in Keene Valley from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (along with the Farmers' Market). Bring your own kite to fly or purchase a kite there, along with many delicious Farmers' Market refreshments.

In Lake Placid, families of all shapes and sizes can join in traditional Juneteenth festivities at John Brown Farm State Historic Site from noon to 4:00 p.m. this Sunday. There will be children's activities, African drumming by the local Wulaba group along with performances by the Somabeats Dance Troop and Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir. There will be a pig roast and ice cream available for a small donation. The rest of the event is free.

Adirondack Family Time Tip: There is also a weekend of activities happening at Whiteface with the Wilmington/Whiteface Bike Fest!

Photos © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes/High Peaks Region Guidebook, Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities

copy of Juneteenth poster, used with permission