A day to celebrate Schenectady

Football season is finally upon us. It’s amazing how a college football game can really transform a town. Thousands of people come in from all over to tailgate, and the whole town gets transformed into a giant party.

Schenectady doesn’t seem to have anything close to this. Sure we have Union College, but even when they were winning a national title in hockey it was hard to find much of a unifying spirit. We did have the parade after the victory, but given the historical an improbable nature of the championship, we can hardly rely on Union hockey championships to regularly rally the community.

Sure, we have our fair share of cultural events, such as the Greek fest (which is also coinciding with Little Italy fest) or St Anthony’s Festa, but nothing that binds the community together like a large sporting event would. I’m actually a really big fan of all of these events, including the Polish festival, which I, unfortunately, couldn’t attend this year. We also have Proctors, which draws people to town from all over the region, but it too lacks the singular event phenomenon.

The event doesn’t need to be a sporting event, either. Many cities have established festivals to draw people to several events happening concurrently. It’s time for Schenectady to have a festival that brings together the entire city, and not just a single ethnicity. It also needs to be separate from a national holiday.

Even Niskayuna has a day of celebration.

With all of the great institutions in Schenectady, it’s time for a day to invite the world to visit and see what Schenectady has to offer, from the Rose Garden to the Hamilton Hill Arts Center. Maybe by then, we’ll have established that Schenectady Ice Cream I’ve been thinking about.

And now, in preparation for tailgating this weekend…

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