The event will provide the platform for unveiling a host of activities planned for a week of celebration February 27-March 4.
The City will also offer free public skating to commemorate this day when, in 1898, Geneva officially became a city. Skating will be open in two segments, from 11:30am-1:30pm and 2-4pm. Genevans can skate at the recreation center head down the street for a birthday snack and several giveaways' in celebration of their City’s milestone.
City Councilor Jan Regan says that a planning committee has been meeting to give this moment its proper recognition.
“Originally we planned for a single day to wish our City a happy birthday,” she notes, “but it was soon apparent that there was too much to do than would fit in a single day. What we have planned is a week of events where organizations, businesses and non-profits around the City offer their own appreciations of this milestone. This will be culminated with an all-community gathering at the Smith Opera House, with more to follow, to cap a week of celebration.”
Also available at the kick-off event will be lawn signs for homes and businesses that existed 125 years ago when Geneva as a city was born. The sign reads “I Was Here in 1898” and features the new 125th logo, designed by Geneva Graphic Artist Paula Bucklin. Those businesses and homeowners who know their property meets this criterion are welcome to pick one up for display in their window or in front of their building.
The land now known as the City of Geneva stands on what was the ancestral lands of the Onödowá’ga (or “the People of the Hill”) prior to 1779. Incorporation papers for Geneva’s designation as a village came in June 1812, although New York State had granted Geneva this status six years earlier. The village grew rapidly and soon civic leaders felt the village charter no longer met the needs of the community and pushed for change. In February 1897, with a village-wide vote of 474 in favor to 302 opposed, a new charter to make Geneva a city was sent to the State Legislature for approval. The designation became official the following January.
Planning Committee members for the 125th celebration include Regan, Kerry Lippincott, Belinda Venuti, Katie Flowers, Mike Cutillo, Jason Hagerman, Linda Robertson, Heather Swanson, Frank Sykes, Catherine Price, Susie Monagan, Chris Lavin and Erica Collins.
*The 125th logo, designed by graphic artist Paula Bucklin. The color purple symbolizes the Iroquois and the square represents the Seneca Nation specifically. The white pine within the square is the symbol of peace. Gold is used as a color of excellence and the blue represents the water of Seneca Lake where Geneva sits.