“You have to think outside the box. You have to think, ‘What is art?’” said Kelley Hamilton, consultant for the Baldwinsville Center for the Arts. Tymeless Tattoo artist Jamie Santos and Utica-based muralist Tony Thompson painted a mural during the Baldwinsville Canal Arts Festival on July 6, 2017. (Photo courtesy of BCA/2017)
As the summer weather sets in, the schedule of events in Baldwinsville is filling up fast. While the Seneca River Days are behind us, more happenings are on the horizon. The Baldwinsville Village Board of Trustees heard about two such events at its June 7 meeting.
Van Buren resident Jim Sollecito addressed the board about Church on the Island, which is now in its third year. Started in 2016 by Rev. Patti Walz, retired pastor of the Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church, Church on the Island offers short, non-denominational services with a positive message, Sollecito said. Sollecito handles village and business relations for Church on the Island.
“Almost every week something on the mill will make you smile,” Sollecito said.
The services, which last 30 to 40 minutes, feature guest pastors from area churches as well as local musicians, artists and instructors. Among Church on the Island’s past guests are Tai Chi instructor Randie Lynn Hughes and local flautist Erin Burtch.
“Even if you haven’t been to church in a while, you’ll feel like you’re part of the fabric of Baldwinsville,” Sollecito said.
Services begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, June 17, and continue each Sunday through Sept. 2. In case of inclement weather, services will take place at the Red Mill Inn. To learn more, like Church on the Island on Facebook or contact Rev. Patti Walz at email@example.com.
Paper Mill Island is hosting more than church services this summer. The second annual Baldwinsville Canal Arts Festival will take place on the island and the Southwest Trail from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 5.
Mark Dengler, president of the Baldwinsville Center for the Arts, previewed the event for the village board. About 50 local crafters and vendors will line the Southwest Trail with their wares. Food trucks and family activities will be on the scene, including a karaoke contest. The evening wraps up with a concert by local party band Atlas from 8 to 10 p.m.
Dengler also put out a plea for sponsors for a fireworks display.
“At this stage our budget does not allow us to support sponsorship of fireworks, and what we’re hopeful is that the village might be able to subsidize or at least point us in the direction to find someone who could help us sponsor a fireworks display,” Dengler said.
“We’ve always had fireworks sometimes around the Fourth for a number of years, so if we don’t have find someone it would be the first year in a long time that we won’t have any,” said Kelley Hamilton, executive director of the BCA.
The BCA hopes to put on the Canal Arts Festival every year.
“Our hope is to keep this concept going. I think it’s one the community will like,” Dengler said.
“Last year was terrific. All I heard people say was, ‘Boy, I hope they do this every year,’” Mayor Dick Clarke said. “So you certainly whetted some appetites by saying it’s coming back, and hopefully we can get people on board and get you some fireworks.”
To learn about sponsorship opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.