Saturday saw a first in the village of Fayetteville. The municipality brought together its civic and community groups in one venue in order to acquaint residents and non-residents alike with what Fayetteville has to offer.
"It's something we've always wanted to do," Mayor Mark Olson said of the Fall Festival held at Beard Park. "This is a way to let people know what's in their community."
Olson said he was happy with the turnout. "It's been going very well, very smoothly."
With music provided by a disc jockey, the smell of chicken barbecued by the Fayetteville Fire Department and the bright white tents set up over tables full of information about Fayetteville, the first-of-its-kind occasion seemed to be well on its way to becoming a tradition. Fire safety demonstrations and a "smoke trailer" were also featured at the event. The festivities were capped off by a fireworks display at dusk.
Mary Lou Cahill of Fayetteville said she and her twin grandsons, Jack and Luke Middleton, also of Fayetteville, were having a great time.
"This is just wonderful," she said. "We're going to walk around and do all the booths. It's great to meet those in the neighborhood. I'm a new resident. I've only lived here two months."
Among the groups who had booths at the event were the Fayetteville Free Library, Manlius Historical Society, Fayetteville Senior Center, Fayetteville Tree Commission, Fayetteville Cemetery, Fayetteville Garden Club, the East Area YMCA, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, Friends in Service Here, Manlius Police Department, Fayetteville-Manlius School District, Town of Manlius, Gage Foundation, the Fayetteville Recreation Committee and the Fayetteville Tree Commission.
"So far we've talked to quite a few people," Kristen Pechacek of the tree commission said. "A lot of people didn't even realize there is a tree commission in Fayetteville." The commission was raffling off a Canada Red Chokecherry tree donated by Cross Creek Nursery in Manlius.
"This is a great avenue of getting things out there," Martha Ketcham, also of the tree commission, said. "It's nice to have one venue with so many community organizations."
Another former resident of Fayetteville felt the event was a good idea.
"I used to live in Fayetteville, and my mom lives in Manlius," Mary Bailey, of Syracuse, said. "We still do a lot of things around here. It's been fun here today."