Aug 27, 2013 Joe Genco Uncategorized
Though many of the events and increased in activity in Skaneateles during the summer is a result of tourism, the Labor Day weekend events are all about the local community.
As has been the tradition for more than 100 years, the Skaneateles Fire Department will hold its field days, parade and fireworks display at Austin Park Saturday and Sunday of this Labor Day weekend.
Also, now in its ninth year, SkanRaces will be holding a number of race events that are scheduled to compliment rather than conflict with the fire department festivities.
Staples of the field days that will be back include carnival rides, food and drink (including chicken barbecue and steamed clams), the car show, pushball and bucket brigade competitions and live music from the Joe Whiting Band and Ruby Shooz (for complete schedule see sidebar on next page).
The Grand Parade Sunday afternoon will start at 4 p.m. near the YMCA and proceed down State Street to Genesee Street and then to Jordan Street and end at Austin Park. The weekend will be capped off with a fireworks display in the park at 10 p.m.
SkanRaces will be holding the SkinnyMan triathlon and Escape from the Judge swim race on Saturday morning, both which are headquartered in Clift Park and welcome spectators, Chris Legg of SkanRaces said.
SkanRaces will also hold the MiniSkinny event for kids Saturday afternoon and the Coon Hill Grind, a bike race, and a 5k road race on Sunday. Though some of the events will fill up ahead of time, some offer race-day registration, for more information visit skanraces.com.
One way in which SkanRaces and the fire department have partnered up to serve the community is by supporting a charitable cause: the Skaneateles Ecumenical Food Pantry.
Attendees of any of the weekend’s events are encouraged to bring canned good or other non-perishable food items with them to donate. The fire department will have bins spread around the field days for collecting donations and they will also be collecting donations during the parade Sunday with the help of shopping carts borrowed from Tops.
SkanRaces participants can also drop off donations at the YMCA during packet pickup on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
In addition to serving a charitable cause, the field days serve as the biggest annual fundraiser for the Skaneateles Fire Department, President Jim Buff said.
Since the 1970s the fire department has been able to purchase all of its vehicles with money from fundraisers, like the field days and its annual high-stakes raffle, and private donations. As a result of this the department has the lowest fire tax rate in Onondaga County, meaning they get the smallest amount of money from the taxpayers via the village of Skaneateles.
Right now the department is looking to replace a 22-year-old fire engine. The new one will cost an estimated $400,000, Buff said.
Below is the schedule of events for the Labor Day weekend fire department field days and SkanRaces. Events are held in Austin Park in or near the pavilion, unless otherwise noted.
Saturday, Aug. 31
SkinnyMan triathalon, starts and ends in Clift Park: 7:30 a.m.
Car show: 8 a.m.
Chicken barbecue: 12 p.m.
Pay one price to ride: 1 to 4 p.m.
MiniSkinny youth race events, Skaneateles YMCA: 1 to 3 p.m.
Children’s pushball: 4 p.m.
Community pushball: 5:30 p.m.
Pay one price to ride: 7 to 10 p.m.
Joe Whiting Band: 8 to 11 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 1
Escape from the Judge swim race, starts in Skaneateles Lake and ends at Clift Park: 7:30 a.m.
Chicken barbecue: 12 p.m.
Coon Hill Grind, Skaneateles Ski Center: 1 p.m.
Skaneateles Road Race: 4 p.m.
Grand Parade: 4 p.m.
Ruby Shooz: 6 to 10 p.m.
Community bucket brigade: 6:30 p.m.
Parade and sports awards: 8:30 p.m.
Raffles and SAVES drawings: 8:45 p.m.
Fireworks: 10 p.m.
SkanRaces, a non-for-profit organization founded by Michael Parker in 2004, has become one of the biggest holders of competitive races in Central New York. In addition to the beautiful scenery of Skaneateles, swimmers like swimming in Skaneateles Lake because it has far less seaweed than other area lakes, Legg said.
The organization has also reciprocated community support of its events by giving out grants every year to help fund various community projects and organizations, often focused on fitness. “Our mission is to support health and wellness in Central New York,” Legg said.
Projects that SkanRaces grant money has supported include: the annual field days fireworks display, free swim lessons for 7-year-old children at the Skaneateles and Auburn YMCAs, fitness equipment for battered women in the city of Syracuse and renovation of the restrooms at the gazebo in Clift Park.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.