Sep 26, 2006 Erin Smith Uncategorized
Pack up the family and head to Baldwinsville this weekend for Celebrate Baldwinsville.
Held in the heart of the village, Celebrate Baldwinsville is a conglomerate of organizations providing a variety of events and entertainment for all to enjoy. Activities range from children’s games, a book fair and cookie decorating to music concerts, theatrical performances and an antique car show.
In 1997, Baldwinsville commemorated the village’s 150th anniversary and, according to Barbara Godfrey, president of the Celebrate Baldwinsville Foundation, Inc., this was the beginning of the annual event. The Celebrate Baldwinsville Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with a 12-member board that organizes the annual event. The foundation formed in 1998 and the first Celebrate Baldwinsville was held at the four corners of the village during winter. Due to a huge snow storm, the foundation decided to hold the event in the fall instead of the winter.
What to expect
All of the activities associated with the event are free including no admission to any of the three venues at Paper Mill Island, Mercer Park and the South Shore West Trail.
“The goal of Celebrate Baldwinsville is to highlight the accomplishments and people of the community and provide a venue for many of the local organizations and not for profits to raise funds for their own organizations,” Godfrey said. “It is to showcase what Baldwinsville has to offer with our local businesses and enjoy the many amenities Baldwinsville has to offer.”
Some of the events that will be offered at all three venues include an antique car show (6 p.m.) and performances by Elephant Shoes (5 p.m.) and Primetime (7 p.m.) Friday.
Saturday features a three-on-three basketball tournament (10 a.m.), foul-shooting contest (noon) and celebrity basketball tournament (1 p.m.) at Mercer Park. From noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, children can enjoy Polka Dot the Clown, face painting, Beaver Lake Nature Center demonstrations and displays, activities with the Baldwinsville Public Library and much more at Mercer Park. The Baldwinsville Optimists Club will sponsor pony rides from 1 to 4 p.m. at the park. Fingerprinting by the B’ville Police Department will also be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the park, but parents must call the police department in advance at 635-3131 to schedule an appointment.
Complimentary boat shuttles will take guests between the South Shore West trail, Paper Mill Island and Mercer Park.
The Baldwinsville Theatre Guild (Noon and 2 p.m.), Tawn Marie Dance Studio (11 a.m.), Jean Stelter Dance Studio (3 p.m.) and Silk and Satin (4 p.m.) will provide entertainment on Paper Mill Island Saturday. Bands performing on the island include the Baldwinsville Community Band (1 p.m.), Joe Whiting (5:30 p.m.) and the Original Todd Hobin Band (8 p.m.). A fireworks display will close the event at 10 p.m. Saturday night.
Keeping everyone happy
With eight years under their belt, the members of the foundation have been able to provide a great event for the Central New York area.
“Overall, the community has been incredibly responsive to this event from many different aspects,” Godfrey said. “We get a lot of support from outside the community also. We want to Celebrate Baldwinsville, but we want many of the neighboring communities to also see what Baldwinsville has to offer.”
As families and friends make their way to the center of the village this weekend, it won’t be hard for them to find a good time. As Godfrey knows, seeing is believing.
“It is great to see all the families in Mercer Park on Saturday playing one of the many activities or all the families together on Saturday night to have dinner and watch the fireworks on Paper Mill Island,” Godfrey said. “It is because of the community that Celebrate Baldwinsville exists and will continue to exist.”
The more, the better
Celebrate Baldwinsville has expanded since its inception in 1998. The foundation has sought association with events such as the Bud Run, a charity run sponsored by Anheuser Busch that benefits the Carol Baldwin Breast Cancer Foundation.
“Having the Bud Run as part of the event is the exact reason we have the event,” Godfrey said. “Anheuser Busch is a tremendous supporter of the Baldwinsville community and having their event the same weekend compliments the many activities taking place throughout the community.”
The Anheuser Busch eighth annual Bud Run for charity will be held at 9:15 a.m. (10K) and 9:30 a.m. (5K) with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Godfrey also said the Celebrate Baldwinsville Committee approached the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce three years ago about participating in the event.
“Celebrate Baldwinsville is the perfect venue for many of the local businesses to showcase what they have to offer, not only to the many visitors but to the residents of the community,” Godfrey said. “For some of the businesses who are not located directly within the downtown business district, having the “Best of B’ville” show at Celebrate Baldwinsville gave them a chance to get some exposure as part of the event with the many other activities taking place.”
The Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce’s “Best of B’ville” show will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the South Shore West Trail.
In addition to the various events that take place on the South West Trail and Mercer Park, Celebrate Baldwinsville also showcases local talent. The foundation provides many different groups with the opportunity to perform on the Budweiser Amphitheater. Included in the groups is the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild, one of the oldest guilds in the Central New York area.
“The Baldwinsville Theater Guild has been performing at the event since 2001,” Godfrey said. “The event has always wanted to include local talent and so the Baldwinsville Theater Guild was approached. We are so appreciative that the Theater Guild was receptive to performing and have created unique plays each year for the event.”
Making the celebration possible
Celebrate Baldwinsville relies on corporate sponsors to help fund the event and gain exposure.
“Through our sponsors, especially our media sponsors, we work very hard to reach out to all of our neighboring communities,” Godfrey said. “We want people to see what makes this community so special and so unique.”
Major sponsors for Celebrate Baldwinsville are Anheuser Busch Co. Inc, Price Chopper, P&C Foods, M&T Bank, Seneca Federal Savings & Loan Association, Gypsum Express and Eagle Newspapers. A full list of all supporters can be found at celebratebaldwinsville.com.
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