News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Southside Mall

Pop-Ups Will Help Pep Up Southside Mall

Pop-Ups Will Help

Pep Up Southside Mall

Cathy Verrelli puts a festive apron on Martin the giraffe outside of Theresa’s Emporium
Pop-Up shop at the Southside Mall. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE• Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – There’s only one place you can get board games, maple syrup, artisan jewelry and a new tattoo – Southside Mall.

“We’re a small mall, but what we have is a large shopping experience,” said Luisa Montanti, Southside Mall general manager.

Starting Black Friday, the mall welcomed 16 artisans and local food producers to set up tables to sell their wares, including Caribou Creek Knives, Rusted Root Metals and more.

The tables will be at the mall every weekend throughout December, offering a variety of gifts.

“Caribou Creek has all these hand-crafted knives and decorative blades, including ones for hunting and cutting meat, or even cutting salad,” said Montanti. “And I bought myself a fancy bracelet from Lynn Price, that makes all this jewelry out of antique buttons. It’s all one-of-a-kind, and that’s what I love about it.”

The idea of bringing in tables at Christmas grew out of the mall’s annual Craft & Vendor Fair. “The artisans always say what a great weekend they have here,” said the manager. “And what’s great is that they’re all unique, so we’re not duplicating shops we already have. There really is something for everyone.”

To launch the Christmas season, dancing mice from Decker School of Ballet made an appearance Saturday, Nov. 30.

And, of course, Santa Claus, available for visits and photos, will visit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 23.

Also new this season is Luncheons & Dragons, a game store that relocated from the West End, now in the former FYE storefront.

“I was really impressed at just how large a selection of games they have and that they’re so knowledgeable about board games,” she said. “And they also have tables where you can sit down and play a game, or join one that’s already in progress. Their philosophy is that they wanted to create a space where people could congregate.”

Another staple, Black Tree Books, has re-opened under new ownership, and, for the person who already has everything, Something Wicked Tattoo will open this week.

Several local Christmas pop-up stores are returning, including Theresa’s Emporium, in the old Etc., Etc. storefront, the Go Calendar, Games & Toys kiosk, and Fire & Thunder Trading.

“Fire & Thunder has one of the largest selections of Native American jewelry and textiles,” Montanti said. “The owner tours trade shows all year, and then comes to the mall every year at the holidays because he has a great following. People look for him.”

Though the holidays are generally the strongest time for retailers, Montanti said store managers are reporting that sales have been up throughout the whole year.

“So many of them have come to me and said how great their gains have been,” she said. “I’d say it’s anywhere between 12-30 percent for the year. The mall is seeing a huge success, and I think other stores want to be a part of that.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1

Holiday Market Kick-Off Event

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

HOLIDAY KICK-OFF – 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Enjoy historic village, holiday spirit. Includes Shoppers Rally & Raffle, artisan demos, ornament making, refreshments, tree lighting, more. Many shops participating. 192 Main St., Sharon Springs. Visit www.facebook.com/themostwonderfultimeoftheyearsharonsprings/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30

Celebrate Thanksgiving On The Farm

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

THANKSGIVING – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Walk off holiday meal on scenic stroll through historic village with your loved ones. Admission by donation. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit www.farmersmuseum.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23

Wintertime Sports Of Otsego County

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ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit www.allotsego.com/angel-tree-program/ to learn how.

EXHIBIT OPENING – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Discover new winter exhibit “Otsego On Ice: Histories of Wintertime Sport” featuring Fenimore’s outstanding collection of ice skates, snow shoes, sleds, more. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

New Store Joins Mall And Mall-o-ween Festivities

Newest Store Joins Mall,

Mall-O-Ween Festivities

All manner of spooks, ghouls and goblins invaded the halls of Oneonta’s Southside Mall this afternoon for the annual Mall-O-Ween for children and their families. Above, Keith Gray, owner of Luncheons & Dragons game store, the mall’s newest tenant, hands out candy alongside Jessi Wiertz, to Madison Orozco, Alliya Leggett, Skyla Orozco and Rakem Browne. The store is set to open Nov. 1 – Friday – in the former FYE. (Ian  Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27

Costumed 5K Through Cooperstown

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COOP LOOP – 1 p.m. 19th annual 5k & 10k race through streets of Cooperstown. Registration 11:30-12:30 a.m. Cost, $30/adult for 5k, $35/adult for 10K, day of race. Win prizes for costumes with categories from scariest, to funniest, to best. Starts, ends at Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. 607-547-2800 or visit www.clarksportscenter.com/events/2019-coop-loop-5k-10k-race/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2019
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24

Benefit Concert To Support

Emergency Shelter Program

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PERFORMANCE – 7 – 10 p.m. Support Emergency Shelter program by Opportunities for Otsego while enjoying evening of music by Steve Fabrizio Band. Features light hors d’oeuvres, raffles, cash bar. Cost, $25 at door. B Side Ballroom, 1 Clinton Plaza Dr., Oneonta. 607-433-8000 or visit www.facebook.com/ofoinc/

Oneonta DAR Builds Constitution Display At Southside Mall

DAR Display At Mall

Honors Constitution

In honor of National Constitution Week, the Oneonta chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has put together a display on the document at the Southside Mall, commemorating the signing of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.  From left are DAR members Jeanne Westcott, Helen Rees and Linda Riddell. The display is near Bath and Body Works and will remain up through Sept. 23.
Harbor Freight Tools Opens May 15 At Mall

Harbor Freight Tools

Opens May 15 At Mall

ONEONTA – Harbor Freight Tools, America’s leading retailer of quality tools at the lowest prices, will celebrate the grand opening of its new store in Southside Mall at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 15. They will sell everything a DIYer, carpenter, or woodworker could ever need; whether you need a screwdriver, power drill, or benchtop planer. Speaking of planers, the wen 6650 is a good option for a beginer so if you’re thinking of starting your own DIY project then the WEN would be a perfect addition to your gear.

“We’re excited to serve customers in the great city of Oneonta,” said Jennifer Oates, store manager, in a press release. “At Harbor Freight, we’re passionate about providing our customers with the tools they need to get the job done, and always at an affordable price.”

Sign Of The Season

Sign Of The Season

Noah Tejada, 5, and Xavier Baranona, 1 year, four months, were up from Sidney at Southside Mall in Oneonta this morning to meet the other BMOC of the Season – the Easter Bunny. Palm Sunday is tomorrow, and Easter Sunday, April 28. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Southside May Become Center of Renewable Energy

Town May Follow City’s Suit

Southside Could Become

Geothermal Energy Center

Jay Egg, CEO, Geo Egg, inset photo, speaks about heating Southside Mall with geothermal energy at a packed Oneonta Town Board meeting this evening in West Oneonta, as Town Board member Randal Mowers listens.  “The writing is on the wall,” Egg said about future energy use.  Municipalities and counties like Westchester are already declaring moratoriums on expanding natural-gas use while the state is green-lighting renewable energy.  The Town of Oneonta is considering installing a geothermal heating system in Southside and other parts of the municipality, while the City of Oneoneta this week contracted with Geo Egg for a feasibility study on retrofitting a geothermal heating system in South Main Street.  (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)

Annual Canstruction Event Yields Over 1 Ton of Food

Canstruction Construction

Yields Over Ton Of Food

Linda Drake, SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility & Community executive director, presents Abe Lippitt, Cooperstown, with the Best Meal Award for his 4H team’s pirate-ship entry in this year’s Canstruction event. The 0415 FIRST Robotics team took the Structural Integrity Prize for its rocket ship; Fox Hospital, Best Use of Labels award for its Operation board game, and SUNY took the Judge’s Favorite award with its soccer field. All in all, the event brought in 2,645 pounds of food that will be donated to area food banks. You can still place your vote for the People’s Choice Award at the Southside Mall throughout the week. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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