5 ‘Fests’ That Should Come to Downtown Utica
There are a bunch of great festivals and events that happen around the country, but somehow don't make their way to our area. Here's a few we think should...
Granted, we don't need the specific organizers of an event that happens in California to come to Utica and put on the exact same event (although, if they want to, we're more than okay with that). Maybe we just need someone to spearhead some of these fest ideas and we'll create our own version of it. Either way, these are some of the things we think would be great to wrap a whole celebration around, right here in Utica:
1. Bacon Fest: Syracuse puts on a Bacon Fest, businesses and organizations have their version of a bacon celebration all throughout Central New York, but we want a BIG one. A big party celebrating everything bacon! We could have food trucks specializing in bacon treats, there could be a food challenge involving bacon, a cooking contest, and of course vendors selling bacon-wear and kitchen goodies. What a delicious celebration, right?!
2. Utica's Music Fest: This would be a fun one that we would have to have the whole city on board with. See, "music" is pretty vague, so what if we put on a festival that celebrated a variety of music? We could have different genres being represented in different areas of the city. Maybe a country music stage on one side of Genesee Street and a pop music stage near the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Another stage could focus on rock, another one on jazz, and so on. Of course there would be artist meet-and-greet booths, food trucks, and plenty of places to get an adult beverage or two.
3. Central New York Fest: Now this would be an EASY festival to put on. Let's celebrate everything from this area - From the amazing food we have available to the great places you can visit, only in Central New York. I'm talking about focusing on chicken riggies and half moon cookies, and Herkimer diamonds and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Each item and food that wants to be represented could have their own booth set up with things to buy, goodies to sample, and information. This would be the perfect event to remind people all this area has to offer.
4. Balloon Fest: Alright, we may have to take a step outside of Utica to put on this event... At least outside of the city-area. It may not be anything like the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, but let's model this event after that one - Just on a smaller scale (a LOT smaller, obviously). But that would be pretty cool. It could be the "Balloon Festival of the North." Not only would it be a beautiful sight, but it could bring in a lot of tourism (and dollars) to our area.
5. A Potato Fest: Unfortunately, I don't have a clever name for this festival. But it would be another easy one to put on. Who doesn't like potatoes? And you can get them in a number of ways - Fries, mashed, twice-baked, even our own salt potatoes. All the restaurants could come out with their best potatoes and people could sample each of these dishes. There would be stands with fully loaded potatoes and even different kinds of poutine. Thinking about this festival idea is starting to make me hungry...
What do you think?? Do any of these "fests" speak to you? Maybe you have a better idea for a celebration in downtown Utica that would bring the community together. We would LOVE to hear what you think - You can always leave us a comment or message on our Lite 98.7 Facebook Page.