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Rallying our town spirit


We’ve been trying to connect with our neighborhood more, and develop some pride in our little town. With that goal in mind, we hit up the Canal Festival this weekend. Unfortunately, it was not all I had hoped it would be; there was nothing too festive about it, and the 90-degree weather did not help. We went mid-afternoon, and despite the raging sun Teague managed to gulp down a giant sausage sandwich AND one of these monsters:

Bloomin' Onion

Canastota is known for two things – the Erie Canal that runs through it, and the onions that once grew in abundance on the farmlands here. I sometimes hear it referred to as “onion town”, and the term “onion picker” was apparently a not-so-nice slang term used to refer to locals. So there was no shortage of onion-related food at the festival. I guess farming muckland isn’t as glamorous as one might imagine. But nowadays, it’s a source of pride; there were bloomin’ onions, raw onions, and an onion soup contest complete with onion-topped tropheys. Yeehaw!
One of the funnier things I noticed is that no one thought to clean out the canal……. the “focal point”, one might argue, of the entire day. So plastic cups, bits of paper, and lots of grass clippings floated in the murky water…

Canastota Erie Canal
I have to hand it to the planners though – it was organized, and enjoyable, and it got us out of the house for a few hours and away from our projects. Our town may not be the most happening place on earth, but it’s certainly got charm. I’m confident that one of these days people are going to figure out just how cool it is (and how convenient to larger nearby cities) and start migrating our way. Hopefully they will be house-folks, and will help save and maintain the cool historic houses we drive by every day. It may happen sooner than I think – we got our first Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shop a few weeks ago, and you know what that means!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 06.29.06:

“I’m confident that one of these days people are going to figure out just how cool it is (and how convenient to larger nearby cities) and start migrating our way.”

I feel the same way about Eutaw. The only thing holding us back is the notoriously bad school situation.

Becky had this to say on 06.30.06:

Yes, I have indeed been called an “onion picker” more than once in my lifetime. Not because I’ve ever picked an onion, but because I grew up in Canastota.

And here’s a nice thing to know: The prize at our high school pep rallies (the prize that went to the class with the most, uh, “pep”) was The Bronze Onion. Yep. A giant onion set on a block of wood and bronzed, baby shoe style. We won it my senior year at Homecoming and as class president I had the honor of running through the hallways, leading my class, holding The Bronze Onion above my head.


And PS–Canastota also goes by “Title Town” because of the boxing history. Onions, Boxing, and the Erie Canal. I suppose there are worse things to be known for.

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