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North Syracuse to host annual Family Festival this weekend

The Teddy Bear Parade is one of the mainstays of the North Syracuse Family Festival, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Lonergan Park.

The Teddy Bear Parade is one of the mainstays of the North Syracuse Family Festival, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Lonergan Park.

— Looking for a fun family-friendly activity this weekend? Look no further than the North Syracuse Family Festival, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. May 25, in Lonergan Park.

The eighth annual festival is a North Syracuse mainstay, offering a variety of activities for all ages. The event also features a variety of free events, including demonstrations from the police and fire departments, live music, caricature drawings, a kids’ playland, face painting, balloon animals, child ID program, children’s art corner, a Civil War demonstration, small horse rides (new this year) and the ever-popular Teddy Bear Parade for kids ages 2 through 6.

“We are a big family party with a so much going on that you need the whole time to take it all in,” said Family Festival Committee member Pat Fergerson. “It is a place to have family-friendly fun.”

The festival got its start about nine years ago when several village residents, including current Mayor Mark Atkinson, his wife Helen, Charlotte LaPorte, Vera Desimone, Diane Browning and Fergerson, got together after a village board meeting and started talking about the Lions Day Memorial Parade the village used to host.

“We kept talking about it, and I remember we ended up walking over to Kennedy Park and looking at the area, standing in the park lot, and talking about really doing this,” Helen Atkison said. “It was a huge undertaking, but one that we knew we had the passion to do.”

Nine years later, the festival is still going strong.

“It started relatively small and has grown into a huge event,” Atkinson said. “Most of the members are original members of the committee and have stayed a part of it for years. There are only approximately 13 members which make up the committee who put on this entire event each year.”

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