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auburn_ny_downtown   Auburn Downtown BID’s Annual Holiday Parade & Family Fun Day
Free Family activities (3:30 -5:30): Horse drawn wagon rides, ornament making and dress the tree at Genesee Mall, Child ID Program, Free Homemade cookies by Girl Scout Troop 1125, Free Chili Tasting at Daut’s, Music by Bob Lyna and St. Mary’s Church Choir. Food vending by Swaby’s and the Red Cross, Raffles.
Parade begins at 6:00 pm at the corner of East Genesee and Fulton Streets. Syracuse Highland Pipe Band and lots of floats. Arrival of Santa, Lighting of Tree, Bonfire, music by the Auburn Civic Band.
Visit with Santa at the Genesee Mall, bring your camera. Come join the fun.
Date:   November 29, 2008
Time:   03:30 PM – 07:45 PM
Location:   Events take place at the Genesee Mall, Downtown Auburn
Parade begins on East Genesee St. Hill
Contact:   Connie or Dan at Downtown Auburn Business Improvement District
Email:   ctallcot@auburndowntown.org
Date/Time Details:   Saturday, November 29, 2008
Holiday event takes place 3:30 pm -7:45pm
Family Fun Activities 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Parade starts at 6:00 pm
Fees/Admission:   FREE

Posted: Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 @ 12:20 pm by Curt
Filed under: Events in CNY
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Dickens Christmas Celebrates 15th Anniversary

It began as a simple thank-you from village merchants to the Skaneateles community. Now, 15 years later, Dickens Christmas provides cherished holiday memories for thousands of families regionally and nationally.

Dickens Christmas—which opens the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs noon to 4 p.m. every weekend until Christmas—is improvisational street theater. Costumed Victorian characters wander the village streets, interacting with each other and with the public.

Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, concerts, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, refreshments, children’s activities, free costume rentals, locals night—all were there from the start and continue, in expanded form, as attractions today.

Dickens Christmas was the brainchild of Karen Foltz, owner of Pomodoro and Pomodoro Too, who had seen a similar production in Minnesota and—as a board member of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce—was looking for ways to boost business. “A lot of people now bring their family and friends—it’s a highlight of their holidays,” says Foltz, who serves as co-chair of the Dickens Christmas Committee. She notes the program began as “a fun little thing to do.”

Dickens Christmas was launched in 1993 under the direction of two area event planners—Lorraine Smoral and Gloria Romeo.  They were followed by Skaneateles resident Ted Davenport, who was followed by Wrynkle in Time Productions, of Rochester. Since 2001, the program has been produced by Scarlett Rat Entertainment, under the direction of Jim Greene (a.k.a. Mr. Dickens), of Dryden, N.Y.

With Scarlett Rat came the premise for the production: In 1842, Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria visit Skaneateles. Based on the characters they meet on village streets—Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley—Dickens writes “A Christmas Carol” upon his return to London.

Over the years, the cast has grown from about 30 to 50 (more than half of whom are professional, paid actors), and the level of professionalism has greatly increased, as has the number of musical and theatrical offerings. The number of local residents participating remains an important part of the show.

Greene jokes that, as producer, he hires talented people and takes all the credit. But he says much of the program’s current success is due to the work of artistic director Maria Wechsler, whom he describes as “brilliant,” and musical director Kelly Stallard, who “has a gift for empowering everyone to sing with their own voice.”

Many of the professional actors are affiliated with the Sterling Renaissance Festival, which is where Greene was working in 1999 when he first took part in Dickens Christmas (playing Emerson Wales, the Rat Catcher). About 90 percent of the cast returns each year. “There’s a lot of love there,” says Greene, whose wife and children have all been a part of the production. “It’s a wonderful way to share the holiday season.”

One constant over the years has been Onondaga Hill resident Bob Krigbaum in the role of Scrooge.

“People get a kick out of my asking the shopkeepers for rent,” Krigbaum says. “I have a ball with it. Once I go into a store, it’s like magnetism. I have them laughing out loud.

“To be Scrooge, you have to be mean. It’s tough to be mean,” he says. “You learn to think real quick, to have an answer for whatever comes your way. Sometimes, people’s reactions are different than what you’d expect.”

Even after 15 years, Krigbaum has no difficulty keeping the character fresh. “The people you interact with help you do that,” he says. “Every time I come out here, it’s the first time.”

Krigbaum’s portrayal of Scrooge is drawn from three movies: “A Christmas Carol” (1951), “Scrooge” (1970) and “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992). According to Krigbaum, that makes the character—in turns—serious, funny and musical.

Krigbaum, who is a full-time professional actor with a degree in theater, spends the season playing not only Scrooge, but also Santa Claus (at Burnet Park). A man of many talents, he also is a professional clown, mime, World War II re-enactor and local TV personality.

Both Krigbaum and Greene recall having posed for hundreds of holiday photos. “When people ask to take my picture, I tell them, ‘It will cost you a shady penny,’ and they’ll give me one,” Krigbaum says.

“It’s been a real joy to share this work with my family,” says Greene. “Do I have a favorite moment? No. That’s like asking if I have a favorite child. But there’s been a lot of funny stuff, touching stuff, over the years.”

One of the most emotional moments for him, Greene says, was when he presented a check to the Skaneateles Fire Department in 2001, following 9/11.

As for the funny stuff, Greene says: “My job is to make people laugh all day. I help people create memories with their families. I’m pretty lucky to have this be my work.”

The real Mr. Dickens couldn’t have said it better.


Posted: Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 @ 11:49 am by Curt
Filed under: Blog Skaneateles
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auburn_business_improvement222nd Annual Holiday Parade and Family Fun Day

Saturday, November 29, 2008
2:00 PM Performance of Thanksgiving play by the children participating in Auburn Public Theater’s fall acting classes.  Tickets available at the door.  Call Auburn Public Theater at (315) 253-6669 for more info.
3:30 –
5:30 PM
 Horse-drawn wagon rides Downtown – FREE
Ornament making for kids – FREE
Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department Child ID Program – FREE
Homemade cookies from Girl Scouts Troop 1125 – FREE
Musical entertainment – FREE
Hot chocolate from the Cayuga County Red Cross
Food vending from Swaby’s
Raffle of Christmas items
“Toys for Tots” drop off box sponsored by the UPS Store

4:00 PM Performance of Thanksgiving play by the children participating in Auburn Public Theater’s fall acting classes.  Tickets available at the door.  Call Auburn Public Theater at (315) 253-6669 for more info.
6:00 PM Parade through Downtown – FREE
Chili samples at Daut’s Restaurant on 10 East Genesee Street – FREE
Community bonfire controlled by Auburn Fire Department – FREE
Music from Auburn Civic Band – FREE
6:45 PM
 Parade ends
Best float competition winners announced
Tree lighting ceremony – FREE
Visits with Santa Claus – FREE
Sing-a-long music with Bob Lyna – FREE
Reva Rollerdrome characters handing out coupons – FREE

Thanksgiving plays held at Auburn Public Theater, whose entrance is located on Exchange Street mall.
Other pre-parade activities all take place at Genesee Mall (located on the corner of Genesee and South Streets in Downtown Auburn ) or in the immediately adjacent Exchange Street mall area.
Parade begins on the corner of East Genesee and Fulton Streets.  It comes down Genesee Street through Downtown and turns left at William Street .  It then turns past the parking garage and ends at City Hall.
The Civic Band will play near the finish line for the parade.  This is also where the bonfire and tree lighting ceremony will be held.
Visits with Santa Claus and the Bob Lyna sing-a-long will also take place at the Genesee Mall.

Posted: Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 @ 11:35 am by Curt
Filed under: Blog Skaneateles,Events in CNY
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Creekside Books & Coffee Presents:
Saturday November 8, 2008 at 1 PM

[Skaneateles, NY]  Creekside Books & Coffee, an independent bookstore and coffeehouse in Skaneateles, is pleased to announce its fourth annual local author day celebration.  Authors include, Dan Roche, Matthew Dunn, Thomas Phillips, Bob Molinari, Rachael Ikins, Barbara Florance and Norman O. Keim. Authors will spend 15 minutes each presenting their work. Following the presentations, enjoy refreshments and time to linger, chat with the authors and get books signed.

“Join us for our fourth annual Local Author Day venue.  It always proves to be a spectacular overview of amazing local talent,” says Erika Davis, owner of Creekside Books and Coffee.  “These people never fail to impress me and their audiences.  Central New York is home to a wide variety of  incredibly talented and giving individuals.” (more…)

Posted: Friday, October 24th, 2008 @ 10:49 am by Curt
Filed under: Events in CNY
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fright_night_fairFright Nights at the Fair

October 24 to October 26  2008
Hours: Friday & Saturday 7:00-11:30pm, Sunday 7:00-11:00pm
Description: Prepare yourself to come see 4 Haunted Houses… The Crypt, CarnEvil Macabre, Frankenstein’s Mansion and The Circus of Horror!!! Recommended for ages 9 and older. Call for info & details for group pricing. 
Website: www.frightnightsatthefair.com
Price: Single Attraction Ticket – $10.00 ($8 group price, please call for details),

Multi Attraction Ticket – $20.00 ($15 group price, please call for details)

Building: Brown Parking Lot – Across from Gate 2 off State Fair Blvd.   
Phone:  315-383-3386

Posted: Friday, October 24th, 2008 @ 8:15 am by Curt
Filed under: Events in CNY
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