Jul 09, 2009 Erin Smith Uncategorized
Jacqueline Olmsted anticipates a big crowd at Mercer Park July 10 and 11.
“This is our 15th year and we keep growing,” the Baldwinsville Rotarian said about the organization’s Seneca River Days event. “All we need is Mother Nature’s cooperation.”
Held every year along the Seneca River, the two-day event is a family affair with carnival rides, demonstrations, food and fireworks, not to mention the Great Seneca River Duck Race, which culminates the fun. For the race, participants simply purchase a $5 duck (or six for $25), which is then dropped into the river at 4 p.m. Saturday along with everyone else’s little racer. The owner of the first duck to cross the finish line receives $2,000 in cash. There are also prizes for the second through 16th place winners.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg regarding Seneca River Day happenings, though. The tugboat “Urger” will be on display throughout the event along the canal wall near the Visitor Center and one lucky child will win a bicycle Friday night courtesy of HSBC Bank USA. Fireworks cap Friday night off at 9:30 p.m. (sponsored by Hudson & Mowins).
The third annual Duck Waddle for children, followed by the Seneca River Duck Run kick off Saturday’s events. At 9:30 a.m., the carnival rides, crafts and food booths open at Mercer Park.
One big change from previous years is the cancellation of the water skiing show.
“The [water skiiers] were a pretty large expense,” Olmsted said. “Plus, some people said it was becoming too tacky and silly — we received comments suggesting we do something different.”
The Baldwinsville Volunteer Fire Department will pick up where the water skiiers left off with a water rescue show at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The show will be in addition to the department’s annual chicken barbecue and on-site fire trucks for children to explore. Other new features include fingerprinting by the Police Explorers, a demonstration by the Syracuse Model Boat Club, a Coast Guard demonstration on how to properly put on a life jacket and a children’s workshop presented by the Home Depot in Clay.
Of course, many will anxiously be anticipating the Anything That Floats contest to see what crazy contraptions participants will float down along the Seneca River.
“Anything That Floats really attracts a lot of spectators who want to watch and see what participants will do,” Olmsted said. “Overall, the Seneca River Days event is for families and for children. Every year we get such great feedback from families, plus it is a fundraiser that enables us to give back to the community and worldwide. It’s a lot of work, but we all enjoy doing it.”
Despite the economy, Olmsted said the Rotary Club has received a lot of support and sponsorships from the community and businesses. That support was also shown when putting together the Baldwinsville Business Directory, an undertaking the Rotary Club championed this year. The free booklet will be distributed at the Seneca River Days and available at the Visitor Center, the Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce office, banks and the Post Office.
“We have ads from every type of business you could think of from architects to welders — a to w,” she said.
The Baldwinsville Rotary Club is a service club championing many causes. Funds raised from the Seneca River Days help support many local and international programs such as the new University Hospital children’s wing in Syracuse, Baldwinsville Scholarship Fund, Senior Christmas Luncheon, dictionaries to all third graders in the Baldwinsville area and more. Tickets for the duck race can be purchased that day or in advance by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Olmsted at 638-1507.
Seneca River Days schedule
Friday and Saturday, July 10 and 11
Friday – ‘Kidz Karnival’
Free door prize tickets given to each child who attends
5 p.m. Rides and food booths open
5 to 9 p.m. Tugboat “Urger” opens
5:15 p.m. Karate Dojo Demonstration
5: 45 p.m. Always Dancing Demonstration
6:15 p.m. Snakes N Stuff
7:30 p.m. The Magic of Virgil
8:45 p.m. Child’s Bicycle Door Prize
9:30 p.m. Fireworks
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tugboat “Urger” open
9 a.m. Seneca River Duck Waddle
9:30 a.m. Seneca River Run
9:30 a.m. Carnival rides and craft/community and food booths open
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Children’s tent
10:30 a.m. Model boat demonstration
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Caricatures
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fingerprinting
11:30 a.m. Water Rescue Show
12 to 2 p.m. Children’s workshop
1 p.m. Model boat demonstration
2 p.m. Anything That Floats
4 p.m. Great Seneca River Duck Race
Children watch in awe as a Snakes N Stuff representative handles a large snake.