LEON Festival to offer free fun, information to keep summer safe for kids

An afternoon and evening of fun and fireworks, featuring a performance by the national singing sensation Kidz Bop, will highlight the LEON Festival to take place from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 at Onondaga Lake Park. Admission to the event is free. The event celebrates the halfway mark to the winter holidays and the start of summer.

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Zoo to welcome original ‘Wild Kingdom’ host Jim Fowler Oct. 3

On Thursday, Oct. 3, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo will host, “Twilight at the Zoo Special Edition: A Life in the Wild with Jim Fowler.” The evening lecture begins at 6:30 p.m., and is sponsored by Mutual of Omaha.

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Buddy Walk is one of many supports offered by DSA of CNY

The DSA of CNY offers a number of activities for families of those with Down syndrome, but its biggest event — and the only one it offers that’s open to the entire community — is the Buddy Walk, which celebrates its 15th year this fall. “At our Buddy Walk, we do not focus on the therapies, doctor appointments, etc., that is a part of their daily life. We celebrate the joy of having them in our lives and family,” Bottego said. “Most of the committee members have worked on the Buddy Walk from the beginning. We have volunteers who come back year after year because it such an uplifting event.” The Buddy Walk will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29 at Long Branch Park in Liverpool. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m.; walkers who have pre-registered can pick up their preordered shirts. Walk-in registration is also available. T-shirts are available to purchase. Children’s games are open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and only shut down while the walk is in progress. Attendees can purchase raffle tickets The walk starts at 10:30 a.m. The walkers follow the path out of the Longbranch Park area into the Willow Bay section of Onondaga Lake Park.

Onondaga Lake cleanup to include cultural center at Ste. Marie site

The clean-up and improvement of Onondaga Lake continues to be a top priority this year. Many projects are underway as a result of the findings contained in the FOCUS Greater Syracuse study. The loop-the-lake trail continues to expand along the western shoreline, and improvements are being made to the existing trail and Onondaga Lake Park. Spring is in full swing, and with the great weather we have been having, it is wonderful to see the park full of bikers, walkers and children playing on the playground. One of the major findings in the FOCUS report was a desire to connect with the lake from an historical standpoint. Several people surveyed emphasized that they would like to see a cultural center, as well as historical markers and informational kiosks, along the lake.

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‘America’s Got Talent’ competitor Taylor Mathews added to First Night concert bill

When Central New Yorkers turn out for First Night on Monday, Dec. 31, at Onondaga Lake Park, they’ll be entertained by three up-and-coming pop groups including Louisiana native Taylor Mathews who was a finalist on television’s “America’s Got Talent.” Headlining the third annual AmeriCU Credit Union First Night here will be R5, a Colorado quintet whose young musicians have ties to the Walt Disney Company. Guitarist Ross Lynch, one of four Lynch siblings in R5, stars in the hit Disney Channel sitcom “Austin and Ally.” Bassist Riker Lynch has a recurring role in Fox TV’s musical drama, “Glee.”

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Gore Mountain opens for the season

The Gore Mountain ski center opened for the season on Friday, Nov. 23 with one lift and five groomed trails.

NYC jazz collective brings New Orleans sound to Kelish Hill Friday

When you hear single-string bass player Peter Ford sing “Digga Digga Doo,” you know you’re in for something special.

Funky Flea market to host more than 50 vendors

Local vendors are preparing their vintage wares, antiques, artwork and records for the summer 2012 Syracuse Funky Flea Market.

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Stand Against Suicide to hold first fundraiser in Jordan

Tara Dennee was in the psych unit at Upstate University Hospital when she had an epiphany. It doesn’t have to be like this. Dennee checked herself into the hospital in the spring of 2011 after fighting depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of her father’s 2008 suicide. For three years, rather than seek help for her own emotional problems, she let them spiral out of control until she felt like she might take her own life. Not wanting her own daughter to suffer like she did, she spent 11 days in intensive, inpatient treatment.

Onondaga County Parks to open beaches early

With expected hot temperatures heading to the area, Onondaga County Executive Mahoney and County Parks are pleased to announce they will be opening the beaches a day ahead of schedule at 11 a.m. Friday, May 25.

Stand Against Suicide to hold fundraiser June 2

This summer, SAS will hold its first-ever “Take a Stand, Save a Life” fundraiser. The soon-to-be annual event will feature a craft fair, car and motorcycle show, live music, raffles, children’s activities and food.

Onondaga Lake Park to host Race on the Lake

The excitement of high speed boating racing is set to return to Onondaga Lake next month Onondaga County Parks Commissioner Bill Lansley announced Wednesday. Race on the Lake, an American Canadian Hydroplane Association-sanctioned event, will be held at Onondaga Lake Park from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17 and feature on-water action all day.

Two fun-filled fundraisers happening at Thornden Park Saturday

This Saturday, Feb. 18, Thornden Park will be the scene of two great winter events.

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Sled for RED: Event to benefit AIDS Community Resources Jan. 21

Last winter, Ben Rabin shot down the hill at Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center in Fayetteville in a Harley Davidson motorcycle made of cardboard and duct tape in just 22.1 seconds. Did he lose a dare, or is he just crazy? Neither. The Syracuse attorney was part of a team competing in Sled for RED, an event that raises both funds and awareness for AIDS Community Resources. The Syracuse-based organization started the cardboard sled derby last year as an interesting and different way to draw attention to its mission to eradicate HIV/AIDS in Central New York. This year’s event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at Four Seasons Golf and Ski Center in Fayetteville.

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Lack of snow affects CNY ski areas

Aside from a few dustings, Onondaga County has been virtually snow-free this season, a far cry from last winter when 179 inches fell, about a foot short of the record 192.1 that accumulated in 1992-93.