Festival Season

On May 5 the 8th Annual Crawfish Clam Festival kicked off the Onondaga County festival season, which this year lasts until Oct. 11, when the 43rd Annual LaFayette Apple Festival will take place. Central New York residents spent the rest of the year longing for these 160 days of fun under the sun, even if they are dotted occasionally with a few stray thunderstorms that send the revelers running for cover.

Central New York has become a melting pot or, at least, a sliced salad. This is reflected in the many corners of the world represented at the ethnic festivals in Onondaga County, mainly European nations. Western Europe and Eastern Europe are tied with four slots apiece in the festival season. It’s Irish, Scottish, German and Italian versus Polish, Macedonian, Greek and Ukrainian. The tie breaker is, of course, Ireland, the only country having more than one festival to celebrate its culture. This year people whose origin comes from the Emerald Island have two events marked in their calendars: one in mid-July and the other in mid-September. But the longest running festival is from Asia (plus Egypt), more specifically the Middle East, whose festival has been held for 78 consecutive years and counting. Go to our Events Section to find out details about all of these festivals and other events in Central New York.

Community members of Latino background are waiting currently with baited breath for the 24th Annual Syracuse Latino American Festival, slated to take place on August 8. Fanny Villarreal, one of the organizers, said this festival has always been the product of team work and that this year’s board is presently being assembled with the goal of finalizing the details of the festivity.

It is envisioned that the festival will feature music that will have the audience shaking their hips to their rhythms: salsa, merengue, plena and bachata.

The two first festivals of the season added a philanthropic twist to them. The Crawfish Clam Festival was a fund-raiser for the nonprofit A Tiny Home for Good, which “hopes to acquire vacant land for a project near the corner of South Avenue and West Kennedy Street,” according to The Post-Standard. In similar fashion, the Salt City BBQ Festival served to collect funds for another local nonprofit, Phoenix Philosophies, which is attempting to renovate a house at 301 W. Colvin St., corner with Cannon Street. What both organizations have in common is that their prospective housing projects are located on Syracuse’s South Side and that they are geared toward military veterans facing homelessness.

About the author: Miguel Balbuena is a writer in the academic, scientific, journalistic and literary fields (in the fiction and non-fiction genres).

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