Cicero It’s one of the sure signs of summer: the Cicero Community Festival is taking place this weekend.
The annual event marks a milestone anniversary this year, commemorating 20 years of bringing Cicero businesses and residents together behind Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church on Route 11.
“It shows how vibrant Cicero is,” said Steve Becker, one of the festival’s organizers. “It’s one of the fastest growing areas in Onondaga County. Businesses are continuing to come into the area. People are enjoying this community. It’s a very stable community. I think through all the ups and downs with the economy, people are still doing business in Cicero. They want to have an address in Cicero. Over the last 20 years, the chamber has felt that the festival is a way to bring businesses and the community together.”
The festival is organized each year by the Greater Cicero Chamber of Commerce. It was started two decades ago by businesses seeking to reach out to residents and bring the community together, according to Becker.
“The purpose of the chamber is for businesses to connect and to network and to let people in the community know about them,” he said. “The festival, in a way, is an extension of that networking with the community. “
The committee that puts together the festival is co-chaired by Chamber President Shari Gamlen, owner of Gamlen’s Truck Caps, and Dan Spink. Both have been involved with the event since its beginning in 1992 and have seen it evolve from a small affair that drew a couple hundred people to a massive undertaking that attracts some 8,000 people each year.
“It’s really evolved over the years,” Becker said. “We’ve got a lot going on.”
That’s an understatement. The festival runs from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 8, and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 9, in the parking lot and grounds behind Sacred Heart Church on Route 11 (8229 Route 11). Friday night’s attractions include a classic car show with about 300 to 400 cars ($3 admission) and a performance by Ruby Shooz. Saturday, meanwhile, is when the bulk of the activities will take place.