Thursday, June 4, 2009
The drab landscape seems suddenly transformed to a thousand shades of green. Car top carriers sport loads of kayaks, not skis. Instead of listing the dinner specials, a sign outside one restaurant on the Commons inexplicably reads “Congratulations Locals!” There are literally thousands of people roaming about, and all of them are smiling. Music from live bands emanates from several different venues at once. What is it? Just another Ithaca summer!
Ithacans look forward to Ithaca Festival, the unofficial sign that summer has begun and a harbinger of all the season has to offer. Four days of music, art, food, and all kinds of activity draw folks from throughout the city and beyond. The festivities kick off with an eccentric parade featuring stilt walkers, an automotive ballet performed by cars outfitted with tutus, one of Ithaca’s LGBT choruses, a briefcase drill team, and a large chainsaw “marching band.”
Take a look at this photo from this past week…it would be tempting to tell you that the moment the last student leaves town, the city erupts into 3 months of non-stop parades, dancing in the streets, and merriment. Not quite. Some days it may seem that way, though.
Ithaca is a very special place in the summer. The pace is slower, perhaps a bit quirkier…and the fun requires less down-filled outwear. Many of the things that make Ithaca distinctive move to the out- of- doors – concerts, plays, free dance lessons , sports, dining, socializing – you name it!
With more than 150 waterfalls within a 10 mile radius of downtown, and three of the state’s six gorge parks in our county, opportunities to get outside and up close to nature abound. City and state parks and other recreational opportunities are plentiful, and take on a unique summer flair.
The Downtown Ithaca Alliance has a listing of many of the events and attractions Ithaca has to offer summer residents and visitors. A concert series, gallery nights, special events like Ithaca Festival and sidewalk sales –it’s all here during summer in Ithaca.
Whether you live here each summer, this summer, or are considering staying the summer at some point in the future, an Ithaca summer is the best kept secret in town.