Classic cars, karate demonstrations, fire trucks, even dancing Oreos - you might expect to see these at any community event, but this time, the family fun was found at the Cicero Wal-Mart Supercenter, which celebrated its one-year anniversary last weekend.
The Onondaga County Sheriff's Department offered fingerprinting and photo identification, while DARE - Child Safety USA conducted a child safety seat check. In the parking lot, booths were set up over the two-day event by the American Legion, LaVallee's Karate, Childtime Nursery, Central Square Gymnastics Center, SPCA, Hope For Bereaved, Rescue Mission, Storybook Bakery, Greyhound Rescue, CNS Varsity Cheerleaders, Eddie Fagan & Friends Band, NAVAC, Cicero Police Department, Cicero Fire Department, North Syracuse Fire Department, U.S. Army, Rick's Master Karate, American Red Cross, CMC Dance Company, American Rolling Oldies and Jeffrey's Custom Conversions, which had a replica Dupont NASCAR.
There were vendors, 15 free raffles and a $1,000 shopping spree was raffled.
Evelyn Grubbe, Wal-Mart community involvement director, came up with the idea for the special celebration.
I thought it was kind of a neat idea, she said. We just wanted to thank the community, thank them for shopping at Wal-Mart - and thank them for letting us be part of their community.
Grubbe said area residents have responded favorably since this Wal-Mart opened.
I do think the customers are excited about having a Wal-Mart out this way, she said.
In addition to the action outside, Wal-Mart hosted its usual price rollbacks and held a summer clearance while introducing its fall merchandise.
According to store manager Jason Leisenring, We're pretty good at offering one-stop shopping - a hair salon, banking, food, Subway; you can get your oil changed, buy stuff for your lawn, clothes, electronics.
Leisenring looks forward to having a greater presence as a community store.
We hope people continue to come back and hope people come here for a long time, he said.