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harborfest_bouncehouse120The weather forecast is looking good for a family day at Myers Park: 'Celebrate Lansing' premiers tomorrow.  The event, hosted by the Lansing Community Council, will feature live music, food and activities from 10am until 6:30pm.  Community Council President and Celebrate Lansing Chairman Ed LaVigne says tomorrow's celebration will be geared toward families and kids.

"We have seven different bounce houses," he says.  "For a five dollar charge kids can go on as many bounce houses as they want, all day.  And for a family we're only going to charge up to $20.  We also have a youth pavilion."

Music this year features two live bands, Bad Alibi and Five Mile Drive.  DJ Rick Uhl will provide music throughout the day.  Activities include bounce houses, an antique car show, composting demonstrations, a raptor demonstration, a trout display, face painting, frozen T-shirt contest, music for very small children, and reading workshops.

harborfest_bouncehouseFive bucks will get you a whole day in seven bounce houses

Local Boy Scouts will demonstrate Bocce ball Girl Scouts will host relay races. The Ithaca Police SWAT tactical bus will be on display, and Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom 45-minute "Eco-Blast" lake cruises will embark from the Lansing Marina dock.  A 3-hour sunset and music cruise will finish the day.

The event replaces the Lansing Harbor Festival, which the Community Council hosted for seven years starting in 2007.  The new event is scaled back, with fewer live bands and annual events like the 'Baker Cup Chicken Barbecue Sauce Contest' taken off the roster.  While the food vendors will be back this year the large alley of other local vendors will not be part of the celebration.

"The Harbor Festival had a wonderful run," LaVigne says.  "The Council decided to evolve into another direction.  At one point we had Lansing Day and other types of community celebrations, so this is just another way to celebrate Lansing.  They wanted to go back to the basics and concentrate just on Lansing and the goodness about it.  This is a work in progress.  What we do here will be to go back to the committee, find out what we do well and try to improve."

A popular element that will be missing this year is the Lighthouse 5K Run.  The run was originally to be part of Celebrate Lansing, but was cancelled a few weeks ago due to the organizers' scheduling conflicts.  But the other popular ancillary event, the Fishing Derby, will be in full swing.  Or is that full cast?

citp_400Bad Alibi and Five Mile Drive perform live Saturday

LaVigne says this year's focus is more weighted toward families and kids.

"We're trying to go back to the family," he says.  "Anybody who has had a young family knows you hope your child will be engaged.  We tried to streamline things so children will be engaged, because if children are engaged and entertained it makes for a much better day for the adults."

LaVigne says the Community Council can do much more for the community since it was granted 501c3 not-for-profit status.  He says the Council can help more people because of that as well as do more in the community.  Celebrate Lansing is a big one of those things.

"I am looking forward to a very enjoyable day," he says.  "We'll have a very nice day.  We'll have music.  We'll have food.  We'll have lots of laughter and lots of smiles, and people will become reacquainted with each other.  I think Lansing has been fragmented a bit in the last few years and our goal is to remind people what made us so great, which is that everybody pulls in the same direction."

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