Mark your calendars for "Made in Utica's" special kickoff to summer party on Saturday, May 20th.

We're getting closer and closer to summer. Start it off the right way with a fun afternoon in Utica that will include food, live art, music, the chance to pick up your "Utica Passport," and will wrap up with the first of many movies outside in Franklin Square Alley.

So what's this "Utica Passport" you can pick up?

It's an awesome booklet that contains deals to 15 area restaurants and businesses in the Utica area. "Made in Utica" started these booklets back in 2014 to help promote small businesses and groups in the area. Deals in the book include things like buy one meal at a certain restaurant and get one free, and things like that. Some of the businesses that will be offering deals include the Sweet Escape Chocolate Lounge, Utica Coffee Roasting Company, Saranac, the Utica Zoo, and a handful of others. The booklets are only $10, but you won't want to wait to pick yours up because only 500 of them are being made. You can pre-order a "Utica Passport" at:, or pick up yours at the Franklin Square Alley on May 20th.

I actually had a "Utica Passport" back in 2015 and it was great! You end up going to some of your favorite places and getting deals (when you would normally be spending the money there anyways), but it also gives you the opportunity to explore new places. Maybe you always wanted to check out one of the businesses in the booklet, but never got around to it... Now that you have a special deal just for that place, it gives you more of a reason to go.

Alright, so back to the event... The "Passport Release Party" will run from 4pm - 8pm on May 20th. There will be all the things mentioned above (the live art, music, food, all that good stuff). But there will also be treats from Bite Bakery. Woodland Farm Brewery will have drinks available, as well. As soon as the party wraps up, the first movie of the summer will start. You can stick around and watch "Back to the Future" as part of the kickoff to the Franklin Square's "Films Under the Stars" series.

If you're curious about the other movies that will be playing at the Franklin Square Alley throughout the summer, here's a schedule:

Sat. June 17: E.T.
Sat. July 22: Independence Day
Sat. August 19: WALL-E
Sat. September 16: Guardians of the Galaxy

Sounds like the perfect way to have an excellent summer in the Utica Area. Pick up a "Utica Passport" to enjoy deals throughout the summer and enjoy all the movies at Franklin Square as well. You might as well start it right, and head to this Summer Kickoff party.

We hope to see you there!





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