Year in and year out, the community fills the grounds behind Sacred Heart Church on Route 11 for the Cicero Community Festival. “We usually average about 7,000 people,” said Steve Becker, one of the event’s organizers. “I think that speaks for itself. It’s become a tradition year in and year out to come to the festival. The cruise night is popular. People like seeing the classic cars. People love Ruby Shooz. We have hundreds of people come to the parade, participating as well as watching.” The festival, which celebrates its 21st year when it kicks off Friday, June 7, is offered by the Greater Cicero Chamber of Commerce every year to support area businesses. Drivers Village co-sponsors the event.
At least a dozen Syracuse Area Music Award-winners will perform this summer as part of the annual Liverpool Is The Place concert series. All concerts are free and take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings at Johnson Park, at the corner of Oswego and Vine streets, in Liverpool’s central business district.
The town of Cicero won’t be holding a farmers market at Drivers Village — or anywhere else — this summer. According to organizer Julie Raddell, not enough vendors registered to sell at this year’s market, forcing its cancellation. “Unfortunately, too few vendors registered in advance for stall spaces at the market,” Raddell said. “We received plenty of calls from interested vendors, but without their actual reservation, I couldn’t take the risk that they would consistently show up and pay for a space.”
The clean-up and improvement of Onondaga Lake continues to be a top priority this year. Many projects are underway as a result of the findings contained in the FOCUS Greater Syracuse study. The loop-the-lake trail continues to expand along the western shoreline, and improvements are being made to the existing trail and Onondaga Lake Park. Spring is in full swing, and with the great weather we have been having, it is wonderful to see the park full of bikers, walkers and children playing on the playground. One of the major findings in the FOCUS report was a desire to connect with the lake from an historical standpoint. Several people surveyed emphasized that they would like to see a cultural center, as well as historical markers and informational kiosks, along the lake.
Looking for a fun family-friendly activity this weekend? Look no further than the North Syracuse Family Festival, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. May 25, in Lonergan Park. The eighth annual festival is a North Syracuse mainstay, offering a variety of activities for all ages. The event also features a variety of free events, including demonstrations from the police and fire departments, live music, caricature drawings, a kids’ playland, face painting, balloon animals, child ID program, children’s art corner, a Civil War demonstration, small horse rides (new this year) and the ever-popular Teddy Bear Parade for kids ages 2 through 6. “We are a big family party with a so much going on that you need the whole time to take it all in,” said Family Festival Committee member Pat Fergerson. “It is a place to have family-friendly fun.”
More than most civic groups, the Masons really respect and honor history. This weekend, the local lodge will celebrate some annals of its own. And as usual, the Masons will do it in style. The Liverpool-Syracuse Lodge No. 501 of Free & Accepted Masons will mark its 150th anniversary at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, by erecting a four-foot-tall obelisk monument in front of its building at 608 Oswego St., across from Johnson Park in the village. New York State Grand Master James Sullivan is expected to attend.
The North Syracuse Family Festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in Lonergan Park, 524 South Main St. (behind Stickley furniture), North Syracuse with free entertainment for young and old.
When Central New Yorkers turn out for First Night on Monday, Dec. 31, at Onondaga Lake Park, they’ll be entertained by three up-and-coming pop groups including Louisiana native Taylor Mathews who was a finalist on television’s “America’s Got Talent.” Headlining the third annual AmeriCU Credit Union First Night here will be R5, a Colorado quintet whose young musicians have ties to the Walt Disney Company. Guitarist Ross Lynch, one of four Lynch siblings in R5, stars in the hit Disney Channel sitcom “Austin and Ally.” Bassist Riker Lynch has a recurring role in Fox TV’s musical drama, “Glee.”
On Sunday morning, Onondaga County Parks Director Bill Lansley and several of his co-workers ran into Oneida Lake in their suits. Had they gone mad? Nope. Lansley, along with Kim Hall, Nate Stevens, Bob Ellis and Meg Belovich, plus hundreds of others, were participants in the sixth annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics New York (NYSO), a fundraising event at Oneida Shores that included live entertainment, prizes, face painting, hot chocolate and coffee from sponsor Dunkin Donuts and more, along with the signature dip in the chilly waters of Oneida Lake.
You can meet the most interesting folks here in Liverpool, and they don't even have to be alive. The Onondaga Historical Association is preparing its 13th annual Ghostwalk, and the spirits will be summoned right here in the village of Liverpool. The walks will take place on Friday, Sept. 28, Saturday, Sept.29, Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6. While the evening tours are scheduled for 6 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 6, an afternoon tour commences at 2 p.m.
Due to inclement weather, the Bridgeport Duck Race, scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, has been postponed. It will take place next Saturday, Sept. 15, instead. It will still take place at 3 p.m. in Chittenango Creek behind St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bridgeport.
Millions of years ago, herds of pig-sized herbivores known for their large skulls and neck frills roamed the deserts of Mongolia with a variety of other brawny beasts. That’s right, they were the Protoceratops, and as of Monday, Aug. 13, they have begun to inhabit the village of Liverpool. Three of them are making their home just outside the Liverpool Public Library. Unlike the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous age, these Protoceratops are made of metal and concrete, created by local sculptor John Kennedy.
Gus Macker has put Cicero on the map. “People talk about it as a destination on the New York Macker circuit,” said Julie Raddell, director of the Syracuse-Cicero Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, held this past weekend at Drivers Village. “Cicero actually gets mentioned as a place now where people want to come and participate. Last year, we were too new, but this year, we’re much more part of the Macker circuit.”
Bring the family to the Macker Block Party on Friday, Aug. 10, hosted by The Friends of The CanTeen.
New Yorkers love their parks, and Parks & Trails New York is giving them more ways to show it with the launching of the “I Love My Park Because” photo contest. It runs through Aug. 31.