Cloning Cooper wins Block Party Battle of the Bands
By MIKE LYNCH, Enterprise Staff Writer
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SARANAC LAKE - The Battle of the Bands is over: Cloning Cooper will open for Molly Hatchet at the Bloomingdale Volunteer Firemen's Field Day on Sept. 3.

"We are very pumped, very excited," said guitarist Josh Clement. "All the people involved with this thing did a great job."

The Battle of the Bands was a competition to open for Molly Hatchet that started July 2 with six bands competing for the grand prize. As of Thursday, only three remained: the Josh Cramoy Band, Bittersweet and Cloning Cooper.

All three played at the Thursday's Community Block Party, which shut down Main Street and Broadway in Saranac Lake for most of the day. In the end, it was Cloning Cooper that received the highest point total, which was based on a system that included crowd interaction and response, guitar and drums.

"I love the old Southern rock," Clement said. "It's not very often a band like (Molly Hatchet) comes around."

The Cloning Cooper announcement marked the end of the fourth annual Community Block Party, a downtown festival that featured live music, vendors and games.

The event got off to a wet start. At 2 p.m., a downpour soaked people up and down Main Street and Broadway. Still, it didn't bother some people.

"There were people totally drenched, and they were having a blast," said Amy Thomas of Parties Unlimited, who organized the Battle of the Bands and was out at 2 p.m. when the heaviest rains came. "I don't think people really got down about it."

The rain caused some changes to plans. The bands were scheduled to play at the Berkeley Green but were moved to the Waterhole #3 after the heavy rains came. The weather also caused some people to seek shelter in shops.

Later in the afternoon, the rains subsided, and the crowd steadily grew.

Vending booths featured all kinds of community organizations and businesses, from the Skatepark Committee to the Community Store Project to the new Saranac Lake bowling alley. Even state Senate candidate Tim Merrick could be seen walking around, shaking hands.

With a wide audience of community members, many of the groups realized it was a good opportunity to reach out to people.

Anti-big box groups were handing out orange ribbons to help their cause. Cathy Romano was getting people to sign up for bowling leagues.

And in the end, Block Party organizer Sandy Bandru said she was happy with the turnout, even with the rain.

"People were looking forward to it like they are the Winter Carnival," Bandru said. "It keeps growing."

Contact Mike Lynch at 891-2600 ext. 26 or