Mayor Svante Myrick at the 2014 Ithaca Festival

Editor’s Note: Today marks the beginning of Ithaca Festival, the four-day music and arts celebration that brings musicians, painters, dancers, clowns, community groups, and ensembles together in downtown Ithaca.

We asked Mayor Svante Myrick to come up with the reasons he’s excited for the festival, and what follows is what he wrote …


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1 — Your garden needs rain

It never fails. No need for a rain dance during a drought — just hold an Ithaca Festival.

The forecasted chance of rain during the parade is zero percent. The actual chance of rain is 100 percent.

2 — Another button for the collection

Whether you’ve attended every Ithaca Festival since 1977, or this is your first festival, the button is a must-have.

Purchasing a button make sure the Festival keeps happening each year — and if this is your first, this is the perfect time to start your collection.

3 — The Parade

The chainsaws, the Volvo ballet, the dancers, stilt walkers, clowns and musicians. The entertainment in the parade can’t be beat, but the real reason to come down is the community.

Mayor Svante Myrick at the 2014 Ithaca Festival
Mayor Svante Myrick at the 2014 Ithaca Festival

If you come to the Festival, you can see 30 percent of the entire community lined up along the sidewalks.

The other 70 percent is in the parade.

One day participation will hit 100 percent we will need to recruit bus loads of Cortlanders to act as bystanders.

4 — The Commons!

No one’s favorite construction project is now racing toward completion and the progress is visible every day. If you haven’t seen the Commons in the last week you’ll be stunned by the beauty and practicality of the new design.

Check it out before the work is finally completed this summer and show your love and support to the merchants downtown.

5 — The following artists:

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Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.