Syracuse is a city of festivals.  We have so many of them, most of them in our downtown core, but some of them are in the wonderful and diverse collection of neighborhoods that make up our city.  I may even work on the committee for one of them.  

It’s good for the soul to be among the people in your community.  It’s good for mine, and especially in our too short warm weather season, it’s wonderful to put on the flip flops and get out amongst the people.  

My favorite festival is, by far, The Westcott Street Cultural Fair, and while I’ve never lived in the Westcott Nation, Westcott Nation is my tribe, and this festival puts that tribe out for everyone to see.  The feeling this festival instills in my body is fuel to me.   Every year that I go, I say the same thing, “I wish Westcott Fest was every day.”

Maybe it can be.

The sheer numbers of people gathered to celebrate community, and each other, was impressive in spite of the heat.  Walking to the festival from where I parked my car, smiling my ass off as people, strangers said hi to one another as they walked to and from the event.

Atkins Riot

There was more hugging than all the other festivals together.

And look, I know everything is political these days, but the values of the WSCF should be universal shouldn’t they be?

Things like..

Stop hurting the environment.

We need clean water to drink.

People should have affordable housing.

Kids should be able to express their imagination and creativity.

You should be free to love who you love.

That centers of faith based worship don’t have to be repressive.

That immigration is necessary.

That black lives matter.

That music and art are not a luxury, they are a necessity.

That all people should have access to the economic system and not just rich people.

That people should come before profits.

This past week the world saw massive demonstrations to save the environment, led by, and inspired by…children.

Greta Thunberg is 16.  We should make the voting age 16 then, after all it’s their world we are messing with.  

But I digress…..

I don’t know why these things are controversial these days.

I had a great time at Westcott Fest, I went by myself but ran into dozens of friends that I cherish.

I know I come to the table with a handicap, I’m one of those people that just seems to feel things more deeply and maybe you are too, but why can’t every day be like the Westcott Street Cultural Fair?

I’m going to try to make that so.

If we make Westcott Fest every day in our hearts, minds and actions , we can change the world.

You with me?


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