Antonio Varacalli Day Celebrations


Seneca Falls, NY, February 27, 2023 —- When Antonio Varacalli, an Italian immigrant working in Seneca Falls saw a woman drowning in the Cayuga and Seneca Barge Canal on April 12, 1917, he immediately jumped in to rescue her.  Although Antonio saved her life, he drowned.  Antonio’s extraordinary civilian heroism was recognized posthumously with a bronze Carnegie Hero Fund Medal.

The Town of Seneca Falls will remember Antonio Varacalli by honoring and celebrating our community’s heroes on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 11:00am on the Bridge Street Bridge.  The ceremony will start with a procession of police, girl scouts, boy scouts and the Seneca Falls Mediocre Marching Band Drummers to the Bridge Street Bridge.  The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission’s Investigation Report will be read.  Mynderse Academy Chamber Singers will perform.  There will be a Hero’s Blessing, Reading of the Proclamation, ringing of The Bells of Bedford Falls and a flower ceremony.

Seneca Falls residents are being asked to nominate a person perceived by their friends and neighbors to be a “good citizen and hero” to receive the annual Antonio Varacall Day Award.  Nomination forms can be picked up at Downtown Deli – 53 Fall Street, WomanMade Products – 91 Fall Street, Seneca Falls or by visiting  All nominations must be received by Friday, March 31.

The theme “Who in Your Life Has Influenced You the Most” has been chosen as a topic for the essay contest which Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s students have been invited to participate in.  The children in grades 3, 4 & 5 will be writing about people that have been a positive influence in their lives.  Winners from the essay contest will be awarded prizes during the ceremony.

Antonio Varacalli Day is a project of the It’s A Wonderful Life Festival Committee.  Sprinkles Starship will be selling ice cream in the Recreation Center parking lot during this event.

For more information on the Celebration and ways you can be involved, contact

It’s a Wonderful Life Festival Donates to Local Charities

SENECA FALLS, NY, December 28, 2022 —- The It’s a Wonderful Life Festival committee announced today that it has made donations to several charities in the Seneca Falls/Waterloo area.

In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, Uncle Billy lost $8000 when he inadvertently gave Mr. Potter the Savings & Loans’ bank deposit. Upon word that the future of the Bailey Business & Loan was in jeopardy, the community came together to save the Business & Loan by donating money to assure its’ future existence.

In a similar display of generosity, with a continuing increase in demand from local food pantries, the It’s a Wonderful Life Festival committee decided to make donations to several charities in the Seneca Falls/Waterloo area totaling $8000, the same amount that Uncle Billy lost.

“We are grateful to these organizations for all they do for our community and know they can use all of our support during the holiday season.” said Haidee Oropallo, President of It’s a Wonderful Life Festival.

The charities receiving donations, which all support the hungry are the Seneca County House of Concern, Cayuga Seneca Community Action Programs (CAP), Seneca Falls Backpack Program, and Trevor’s Gift.

In the IAWL movie, Clarence the Angel says – Strange, isn’t it?  Each person’s life touches so many other lives. That is just what the It’s a Wonderful Life Festival committee wants to convey. “We are hopeful that the rest of our local community will also come together to help these organizations do their valuable work,” added Oropallo.


Haidee Oropallo (IAWL) and Christina Ehlers (Community Action Program)

Gina, Delores Morgan - Director, and Cheryl (House of Concern), Haidee Oropallo & Laci Pinckney (IAWL)

Paula Coffey (Seneca Falls Backpack Program)

Ellen Hughes (Trevor's Gift), Becky Bly (IAWL)

“Last Call”

-Select Form to download-

Don’t miss out on not being in the new Seneca Falls Business & Services brochure for 2022-23
We are nearing final preparation before sending to the printers, here is you final chance to get your information in this publication.
All information in the brochure is also available on-line (including links to your website) at

There is an application form available for download above, just fill it out and return to
P.O Box 204, Seneca Falls
Brochure is scheduled to go to the printers June

Antonio Varacalli Day Celebration Announced


The Seneca Falls community is being asked to nominate a person to receive the Antonio Varacalli Award which will be given to a resident whom is perceived by their friends and neighbors to be a good citizen and hero to the community in which they live.

Antonio Varacalli, who lost his life while rescuing a young woman named Ruth Dunham from the Seneca Falls Barge Canal 105 years ago, is the namesake to the “Antonio Varacalli Day – Celebration of Heroes” event.

Like so many other immigrants, Antonio Varacalli and his father Dominick, emigrated from Italy in the early 1900’s intending to find work and save enough money to bring the rest of their family to Seneca Falls, NY. His death certificate stated that he “drowned while attempting to rescue another person.” He was 22 years old.

Individuals are being asked to nominate a person they see as a hero to be awarded the Annual Antonio Varacalli Day Award. “Antonio is an example of how everyday regular people are good citizens by stepping up and selflessly helping others like Antonio did,” said Chris Podzuweit, a member of the It’s A Wonderful Life Committee, sponsor of the Antonio Varacalli Day – Celebration of Heroes event “Each year we ask the community to name a local hero, a good citizen, who in their eyes emulates Antonio Varacalli.”


The day’s event will begin on the Bridge St. bridge at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 23, near the site where Varacalli lost his life. In addition to presentation of the Antonio Varacalli Day Award, the winners of the Antonio Varacalli Day Essay Contest will be recognized. The essay question presented to Elizabeth Cady Stanton students in grades 3, 4 & 5, asked them to write about an immigrant that they know or know of, who has contributed to America and/or their community, and how they might be considered a good citizen.

The Mynderse Chamber Singers under the direction of Anna Luisi-Ellis will perform, the Antonio Varacalli Day Proclamation will be read along with a brief history presentation, and the ringing of “The Bells of Bedford Falls”. A flower ceremony will end the program.

Individuals wishing to nominate a hero can pick up a nomination form at the Seneca Falls Historical Society – 55 Cayuga St., Downtown Deli – 53 Fall Street, WomanMade Products – 91 Fall Street or download a pdf from All nominations must be received by Wednesday, April 7, 2022

For more information on the Celebration contact

Mums are done

The mums are done, all 21 pots along downtown fall street and the Sackett District have been updated with mums in them. Thank you to Ann and Neil from the Downtown Deli, on behalf of the SF Business Association, this years mums in pots are all done and not only with mums but a variety of scarecrows have been added.  Thank you.

Halloween Walk in the Park

Halloween is just around the corner and once again the Seneca Falls Recreation Center in partnership with the Seneca Fall Business Association is presenting the “Halloween Walk in the Park” event.

Last year was a wonderful success, so please contact the Reacreation Park and come and have a fun afternoon.

Want to be a part of it?????

Volunteers Needed

Volunteering is a fun way to support both Canal Fest and your Community, and it is only because of volunteers like you that Canal Fest continues to be a big success. Thank you in advance for providing the information requested. 

We will use this information to match your skills and interests to the needs of the Festival.

Download the Volunteer Form HERE and either

Drop it off a tthe Downtown Deli


Mail to P.O Box 204, Seneca Falls NY 13148

Thank you

Latest News


Contact: Becky Bly

Seneca Falls Canal Fest


Phone: 315-568-9364


SENECA FALLS, NY, June 1, 2021 – The Seneca Falls Business Association (SFBA) announced Tuesday that the 5th Annual Seneca Falls Canal Fest will be held August 20th – 22nd, 2021. The Festival which is held on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in Seneca Falls was unable to take place in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re back, crowd smart and community strong!” said Ann Sandroni the organization’s president and sponsor of the event. The three day celebration takes place along the Seneca Falls Canal Harbor.  As is the past, the festival promises fireworks, rides, vendors, duck race, music and much more.


The committee chose to hold the Festival in late August this year rather than early July to allow more time for the CDC and NYS to create and issue  guidelines for outdoor gatherings.  The festival will be held on Friday Aug. 20th 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Saturday, Aug. 21st 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and  Sunday Aug. 22nd 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.


Featured music for the festival on Friday will be one of the region’s premier show bands, Night Train. The group performs a mix of 60’s, 70’s dance songs for a fabulous party experience. 

Saturday night’s big party band will showcase Mixtape specializing in classic rock dancing tunes you want to sing along to.  Saturday night’s band will be followed by fireworks.


Amusement Park rides and a Petting Zoo will once again be part of the festival.  Craft and food booths will be spread out to allow for safe, comfortable shopping and eating. 


Sunday’s big event at 3:00 pm will be the 5th Annual

Canal Fest Duck Race, when 2000 rubber duckies are dropped from the Bridge St. bridge and make their way down the canal to the Ovid St. bridge with coaxing from volunteer kayakers. 

“We are still planning and preparing for the Festival and volunteers help to make this type of event a success.” said Sandroni,  “It’s not difficult and you’ll have fun.  Just send us a message through the Contact page of our website.”


Non-profit organizations, food booths and Vendors wishing to participate are invited to fill out a Vendor Form also found at

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