SPRING CLEANING – Collect litter around the city of Oneonta to give the city a spring pick-me-up. Each full bag gets a raffle ticket for gift certificates to Latte Lounge and Nina’s Pizza. Kings Kakery will also be providing treats to those who drop of full bags (first come, first serve). Bags can be dropped at 56 Center St., Oneonta. 607-432-2941 or visit www.facebook.com/DestinationOneonta/
AUDUBON SOCIETY – 10 a.m. – Noon. Get your questions in Q&A session with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon society board members. Topics on everything from the society in general to birding to effects of lead ammunition. Presented as part of OCCA’s online Earth Festival. 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/earth-festival/
ORNAMENT DROP-OFF – 8 a.m. Last day for residents to make compost friendly or organic ornaments to decorate Muller Plaza Christmas Tree, then drop them at the office or in the box. Destination Oneonta, 4 Dietz St., Oneonta. 607-432-2941 or visit www.facebook.com/TheOtsegoCountyChamber/
ONEONTA – For Common Council member Mark Drnek, it’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.
“We were in Brooklyn one time during the holidays, and all of a sudden, we heard music in the streets,” he said. “It was a game-changer.”
A similar 16-speaker system, designed by Carrie Schmidt of Bitbybit Solutions, was put in place for the downtown dining event and, come Black Friday, will fill Main Street with the sounds of holiday cheer, courtesy of the Pandora Christmas music station.
“We want to bring back that sense of community shopping downtown,” Drnek said. “We want to train people not to just go straight to Amazon.”
After Thanksgiving, downtown merchants will implement “Shop Small Weekends,” opening Saturdays and Sundays throughout the holiday shopping season.
“By not crowding it in one Small Business Saturday, we’re able to lessen the crowds and facilitate social distancing,” he said. “It’s a great downtown shopping experience.”
COVID-19 restrictions on large crowds forced Destination Oneonta to cancel the annual Santa parade, but that doesn’t mean Santa is skipping Oneonta entirely.
Instead, he will Zoom live from the North Pole to meet with kids – no bundling up or waiting in the cold required.
“Kids can sign up for a time to Zoom with Santa, and one of his helpers will let you into the chat,” said Katrina Van Zandt, Destination Oneonta’s director of membership and events. “Then you can visit one-on-one with Santa.”
Destination Oneonta is also looking for a way to record the chats so that the kids will be able to take them as a memento, Drnek said.
In addition to the Zoom chats, kids can leave letters to Santa in the mailbox at his cottage in Muller Plaza.
The annual Gingerbread House and Festival of Lights tree-decorating competitions will also be held virtually.
“This year’s theme is to build a traditional gingerbread house,” said Van Zandt. “You take a picture of yourself with it and post it on our Facebook page in each category.”
Though many categories – including Best Candy Use, Most Intricate and Tallest – are voted on by the board, there is still a chance to vote for the Viewer’s Choice, determined by who gets the most likes.
The Festival of Trees will be held much the same way, inviting homes and businesses to show off their elaborately decorated trees. “We want to see you, your pets, your families in the photo so we know it’s not one you found a picture of and submitted,” she said. “It’s hard to Photoshop yourself in!”
Both contests are live now, and winners will be announced on Dec. 10.
But there’s no Christmas without some holiday decorations, and the city will begin decorating downtown with banners and snowflakes this weekend. Destination Oneonta has purchased additional banners to promote the merchants and restaurants.
ONEONTA – Common Council voted this evening, 5-3, not to renew a $70,000 contract with Destination Oneonta for 2020, but to table it for further discussion.
“I’m not really certain what the geographic parameters of Destination Oneonta are,” said Council member Mike Drnek, Ward Eight.
Given that membership is expected to rise in the new year, Drnek expressed concern for an increase in members who live outside of city limits and the city having to bear the cost.
“Looking at the projection of 200 members in 2020, clearly the geography is moving outward from the city,” he said. “I think they do a terrific job, but if this becomes more of a Chamber of Commerce, are we still responsible for the $70,000,” he asked.
Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean it can’t be a little spooky! Here, Henry Ahearn, 4, is dazzled by a gingerbread rendition of a scene from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by the Amish Barn Company at the Gingerbread Jubilee at Oneonta’s Foothills Performing Arts Center this afternoon. “We like to come and see all the work everyone has put into it. This year is particularly amazing,” said mom Kim. This year’s theme was Favorite Movies, and winners of the jubilee will be selected to have their gingerbread designs displayed throughout town. But the Gingerbread Jubilee wasn’t the only thing going on at Foothills, a right, Jayden Zakala holds up his cousin, William Bryan, 3, as he reaches for a toy car on a Christmas tree decorated by Destination Oneonta. 30 local organizations donated to the The Festival of Trees, which will donate the trees to a local family in need of some Christmas cheer. (James Cummings/AllOTSEGO.com)
FILM DAYS – Fall film fest features films on theme “Adaptations.” Includes films:
‘Anthropocene: The Human Epoch’ – 6 – 7:45 p.m. Grand Stand Theater, Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown.
Opening Party/Exhibit – 8 – 9:30 p.m. The Smithy, 55 Pioneer St., Cooperstown.
‘The Unchanging Sea.’ 9:30 – 10:30 p.m. Templeton Hall, 63 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. Runs through 11/11. Visit www.glimmerglassfilmdays.org
PARADE – 5 p.m. Dress your best and show off your costume in this years Halloween parade down Main St., Cooperstown.
PUMPKIN GLOW – 6 – 7:30 p.m. Bring your carved pumpkin to enter in a contest or just to display to the trick-or-treaters. After the sun goes down stroll through the park and admire everyone’s handiwork. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-1980 or visit www.facebook.com/hmloneonta/
PREVIEW PARTY – 5 – 7 p.m. Celebrate opening of 84th Annual National Juried Art Exhibition and award ceremonies. Cooperstown Art Association, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-9777 or visit www.cooperstownart.com
ONEONTA – Bank of Cooperstown Vice President Rachel Lutz Jessup, who is treasurer of Destination Oneonta, will brief Common Council on DO’s recent activities when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.
Common Council also plans to update the city’s harassment policy to comply with recent guidelines established by the State Division of Human Rights.
MEMORIAL FUNDRAISER – 6 – 8 p.m. Celebrate wonderful life of Dr. Gahleb with wife Jill, Susquehanna Animal Shelter. Cost, $100/person includes 2 drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, silent auction. RSVP by 9/20. Veranda, The Otesaga, Cooperstown. 607-547-8111 ext. 101 or visit www.facebook.com/Susquehanna-Animal-Shelter-121696841223218/
BENEFIT 5K/MILE – 9 a.m. Run/walk in Mindful Mile & Fight Hunger 5K to benefit the Riverside Back Pack Program, providing Oneonta school children food over the weekend. Registration from 8-8:45 a.m. Cost day-of, $25 for 5K, $15 for Mile. Alumni Field House, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-3337 or visit oneonta.sodexomyway.com/explore/mindful_mile