JESS LANZA CO-OWNS KATE’S UPSTATE
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – During down times at Kate’s Upstate, Jess Lanza, new president of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce board of directors, sits on one of the turquoise chairs out front, chatting with tourists, customers and other businesspeople who happen to walk by.
“We’re right in the center,” said Lanza, the first merchant to lead the Cooperstown chamber board since 2007, when Riverwood’s Rick Gibbons passed the mantle to Inn at Cooperstown proprietor Marc Kingsley. “”We have the pulse of what’s going on.”
Jess and his wife, the former Kate Whitney, were both born in the Northeast – he in Fort Lee, N.J.; she in Sidney – were raised in Florida.
They met at Stetson College – it was founded by John B. Stetson, who developed the famous cowboy hat – in DeLand, Fla. “We had classes together,” said Jess, who double-majored in poli-sci and business administration, “and a lot of mutual friends.”
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, JULY 26
BASEBALL – Noon. Virtual Voices of the Game to honor Hall of Fame 2020 inductee Derek Jeter. Learn more about how the Yankees 5 world series titles with Jeter as the shortstop in every season. Jeter will be joined by fellow Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera, Joe Torre reflecting on their teams and the moments that shaped a dynasty. Visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-legends-of-the-game-Ted-Simmons?date=0 for details.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JULY 24
BASEBALL – Noon. Virtual Voices of the Game to honor Hall of Fame 2020 inductee Larry Walker, the second Canadian to be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Will also feature Fergie Jenkins, the first Canadian inductee, to discuss playing ball in Canada and earning their place in Cooperstown. Visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-legends-of-the-game-Larry-Walker?date=0 for details.
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.ALLOTSEGO.com
Hanna Bergene, 2020 Cooperstown Winter Carnival co-chair, warns that things could get cheesy.
“New this year is a mac and cheese contest at the Carnival closer,” she said. “We heard from the restaurants that the chicken wing contest was kind of stale – and who doesn’t love mac and cheese in the middle of winter?”
The contest will be free, allowing all the carnival goers to taste samples from almost a dozen restaurants at Upstate Bar & Grill.
And if that doesn’t fill you up, you can head over to the annual Grilled Cheese For a Good Cause at The Farmer’s Market, to benefit Otsego 2000. “It’s going to be a very cheesy Sunday,” she joked.
This year’s carnival has a “Roaring 20s” theme. “It’s glitzy, it’s glam, it’s a little mysterious,” said Bergene. “We wanted to give 2020 a fresh start.”
And what’s a Roaring 20s party without a speakeasy and some dancing? “We’ve got eight local restaurants making 1920s cocktails for the cocktail contest,” she said. “And everyone is really excited to dress up.”
The Speakeasy will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Vet’s Club, and there are prizes for best flapper and most dapper, while Hanzolo will be on hand to help guests dance the night away.
They expanded the carnival to beyond downtown Cooperstown, with the lip-synch contest – dubbed “The Roaring 20s Showdown” hosted 6-9 Friday, Feb. 7, at Brewery Ommegang.
“Ommegang had a great interest in being involved this year and we were open to the idea of it,” she said. “They’re an excellent venue and the lip-synch is always a good time.”
Also new this year is the expanded lineup of trunk shows and pop-up shops, with extra shopping opportunities at Kate’s Upstate, Tin Bin Alley and All About The Girls.
“Kate Lanza at Kate’s Upstate has done pop-ups before with Natalie Wrubleski’s Champagne Hippy and Karen Katz jewelry,” said Bergene. “We worked with the downtown businesses to make a weekend of shopping.”
But it’s not just the adults who can have fun. “We wanted to bring back the event for all types of people,” she said.
For kids, there’s a “Meet the Heroes” event, where they can meet fire fighters and see the fire trucks, as well as a “Storytime with Frosty” at the Village Library.
The Carnival is also partnering with the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce and The Farmers Museum to host activities for families in Pioneer Park.
“It’s my first Winter Carnival!” said Tara Burke, executive director. “We brainstormed with the carnival committee and they were looking for some more family-friendly activities. We were happy to help out.”
Kids can make their own bejeweled snowflakes. “Paint could freeze, so we got markers and jewel stickers,” said Burke.
JV and Varsity Baseball teams will host a wiffle ball home-run derby – yes, in the snow! – to raise money for their spring training camp, and the Susquehanna SPCA will host a Brooks chicken barbecue at the Christ Episcopal Church Parish Hall.
With farmers, butchers, employees and friends alongside, Carrie and Doug Thompson cut the ribbon on their new business venture, Tthe Green Cow, as Steve Grubb and Brian Fassett, who work on the farm, hold the ribbon. The butcher shop, at 21 Railroad Ave., Cooperstown, features grass-finished beef raised on 450 acres near Richfield Springs. “This project has been 10 years in the making,” said Doug. “It’s been a fantastic journey for myself, Carrie and our two girls. It’s so special to bring it all together.” Following the ribbon cutting, the couple invited their neighbors to stay for some hamburger sliders, cooked by Grill Master Steve Gotwald and served up by store manager Karen Slowik, at right inset. (Libby Cudmore/AllOTSEGO.com)
By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta
COOPERSTOWN – Even before she was named executive director for the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, Tara Burke was a big fan of the business community.
“My family loves the Fly Creek Cider Mill, and we always go to brunch at The Otesaga,” she said. “My brother is a big fan of ‘Game of Thrones,’ so we always have to go by Brewery Ommegang and get beer for him.”
Tara Burke To Succeed Matt Hazzard April 8,
Will Attend Annual Member Meeting March 28
COOPERSTOWN – Tara Burke, director of communications and program development for the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce in Elmira, has been selected at Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce executive director, effective April 8, it was announced today.
She plans to attend the annual meeting on March 28 at Brewery Ommegang, so members will get a first chance to meet her then.
COOPERSTOWN – In all, six business, including the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Cooperstown Farmers Market and Stagecoach Coffee were selected from 25 finalists to be the 2019 inductees into the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Chamber Business Hall of Fame.
Also named to the Hall of Fame were Pathfinder Village, The Cooperstown Bat Company and the Cooperstown Fire Department.
Last year, the Chamber honored Brewery Ommegang, the Cooperstown Graduate Program, The Farmers’ Museum, the Susquehanna Animal Shelter (now the SPCA), and Spurbeck’s Grocery. Voting is open to the public, and the winners will be announced in the spring.
HE PROVIDES 3 MONTHS’ NOTICE
COOPERSTOWN – Matt Hazzard, Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce executive director for almost five years, today announced he is resigning to concentrate on his family business, Leatherstocking Trolley Co., effective in April.
The three-month notice “will allow the board to do a full search for a new executive director,” he wrote in an email to members. “In the meantime, the chamber will continue to operate in the best interests of our membership and the business community.”
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31
PARADE – 5 p.m. Showcase your Halloween best with Cooperstown Central School band leading the way. Followed by cider and treats at Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, then trick-or-treating at around Cooperstown. Start at Cooper Park, Cooperstown. 607-547-9983 or visit cooperstownchamber.org/halloween-2/
PARADE – 7 p.m. Celebrate Halloween. Costumes encouraged, includes Oneonta High School Bands. Line-up at 6:15. Main St., Oneonta.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
TREES OF COOPERSTOWN – 5:30 p.m. Tour Cooperstown with Otsego County Conservation Association, learn benefits of street trees, threats to urban forests, basics of tree anatomy, identification. Free, open to public. Pre-registration preferred. Meet at Pioneer Park, Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/the-trees-of-cooperstown/
GARDEN CLUB – 6:30 p.m. Public meeting hosts Don Urtz presenting photographs of work done by the club over the years. Free, refreshments provided. Richfield Springs Village Library, 102 W. Main St., Richfield Springs. 315-858-0230 or visit www.facebook.com/Richfield-Springs-Public-Library-1068210423236404/