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2018 Celebrate Commemorate Parade May 26th

Waterloo Remembers

Parade Chair – Sarah Smolinski    315.745.9928

Everyone is welcome to join us once again for the Celebrate Freedom Parade. Lineup will be at 10:15 and the parade will step off precisely at 11. We’re asking you to come a little early because we anticipate that there will be a great number of participants.

If you’ve been in the parade before, you know what fun it can be. Once again, we will have divisions for military and officials; youth organizations; schools and families; churches, seniors and organizations; and vehicles. The Civil War and American Revolutionary War groups will have a “parade within a parade.”

Please look for the posters indicating where your group should line up. Briefly, Group 1, officials, will be on Clark Street to Main,

Group 1A, military and veterans, Clark Street behind Group 1. Honor float will feature Sampson WWII Navy Veterans accompanied by the Navy Reserve Honor Guard.

Group 2, Civil War and other military reenactor groups, East Williams Street west. This “parade within a parade” will be very large and spectacular this year. Come early and bring your flags!

Group 3, Youth organizations, East Williams Street east.

Group 4, businesses, organizations and churches, Elisha Street east.

Group 5, vehicles and businesses, Clark Street north from Elisha Street.

Special “dignitaries” in this year’s parade will include three past US Presidents – President Teddy Roosevelt, President Abe Lincoln and President Ulysses S. Grant. And we are very excited to have the very popular Hit Men return to our lineup this year.

Please use the form below to let us know you are coming and send us information about your group that will be read by the announcer as you pass the reviewing stand in front of the post office. Please submit as soon as possible. And encourage your friends to join us, too.  Everyone is welcome!

Click here and print to respond to Sarah’s invitation!

Parade Participants Form





EXTRAVA”CAN”ZA 2018 – Sat. May 26 & Sunday, May 27

You can help the Waterloo Rotary Club fight hunger locally by joining us in a little friendly competition called EXTRAVA”CAN”ZA 2018. The goal is to stock the local food pantry (of your choice) shelves with non-perishable food items (canned or boxed food) in May. Our goal is to collect 4,000 non-perishable items.

What’s involved? Organize a team to collect food items and use the items to build a structure at the Waterloo Community Center on May 25 and be displayed May 26 and 27. Rules and tips for building a structure are on the reverse side of the application form.  Most importantly, be creative and have fun!

How do I get involved? Register your team by completing the form below and returning it to us along with a $10 fee to be donated to Hunger Initiatives by May 1, 2018.  Your structure must be built on Friday, May 25 from 2:00-5:00 pm (other times on Friday can be arranged) and ready for display on May 26 and 27. Winners in several prize categories will be recognized, including a People’s Choice award!

On Saturday May 26 Sunday, May 27 anyone may visit the displays to browse and/or to vote from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm on Sat. and 10:00 am until 3:00 pm on Sunday. Votes are 10 for $1.00. 

Food must be picked up at 3:00 by the food pantry named.  Uncollected donations will be donated to Cayuga Seneca County Action Agency.

Waterloo ExtravaCANza Registration Rules & Guidelines
Waterloo ExtravaCANza Registration Rules & Guidelines

Main Street in Waterloo to Hold Event Celebrating National Designation as Great Street in America

Washington, D.C. — The American Planning Association (APA) recently named Main Street in Waterloo, New York, as one of five Great Streets on the organization’s annual Great Places in America list. Main Street will formally receive its national designation from the American Planning Association at an event that will be held behind the Waterloo Town Hall on October 14. You can find more information about the event below.

Ted Young, Mayor of Waterloo
Courtenay D. Mercer, AICP, Board of Directors at the American Planning Association
Gina Suffredini, Deputy Mayor of Waterloo and Village of Waterloo Trustee
Josh Mill, Village of Waterloo Trustee

Where: Lafayette Park, Memorial Day Place, Waterloo, NY 13165

When: Saturday, October 14, 2017, at 12:30 p.m. ET

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, APA’s Great Places in America launches National Community Planning Month and recognizes streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces in the United States demonstrating exceptional character, quality, and planning—attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire others around the country. The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets, and Great Public Spaces of 2017 are places that are unique and exemplary in their amenities and infrastructure, cultural identity, and use of sustainable and innovative practices.

The Village of Waterloo is an example of a unique, beautiful, and safe community that is deeply connected to its past, while moving confidently into its future. The village is achieving this in a focused, organized way by crafting its first ever Comprehensive Plan, with Main Street as the central focus. With a population of roughly 5,000, the plan for Main Street is truly a community effort that will honor Waterloo’s rich history as the officially-recognized birthplace of Memorial Day, while also positioning it as a community poised for progress.

To date, APA has designated 275 Great Places around the country. To learn more about this year’s Great Places and previous designees, visit

For more about National Community Planning Month taking place throughout October visit

Illumination Ceremonies held at the American Civil War Memorial

American Civil War Memorial Illumination and Remembrance
Friday, May 26, 2017, 7:00 PM
The Star Spangled Banner – Waterloo Varsity Ensemble
Roll Call of Waterloo Fallen – Gen. George B. McClellan, a.k.a John Goloski
Keynote Address – Pres. Abraham Lincoln, a.k.a. Fritz Klein
Taps – Jim Goloski, Past Commander, 148th NYVI, SVR

Friday May 26th events kick off at Fatzinger Hall

Congratulations to Angela Jones, the 2017 recipient of the Henry Welles Award.

After a wonderful reception hosted by the Waterloo Historical Society, the award presentation was held upstairs in the historic Fatzinger Hall.

Senator Pam Helming read a proclamation and President Theodore Roosevelt (Gib Young) and President Abraham Lincoln (Fritz Klein) gave words of wisdom and appreciation.

Angela with her daughter Karen & son in law Don Moretti

Angela with presidents Theodore Roosevelt & Abraham Lincoln

Angie came to Waterloo in 1952 as a young bride, bringing with her a unique vision and style of teaching. “I believe foreign language, especially Spanish, should not be just for college-bound students but for everyone,” she explained. “I began conversational Spanish courses.  When I came, there were six Spanish students in Waterloo High School.  When I retired 39 years later, they needed seven teachers to handle all the students!” Angie served as mentor to the new teachers, and as language department chair for many years, passing on her love of language and culture..

Angie shared that love not only with the hundreds of students, but also with other teachers and people in the community through workshops at teacher conventions and the trips she led to Spanish-speaking countries around the world. In fact, her tours became so popular that Angie began a new career as a certified travel agent when she retired from teaching, continuing to take tour groups to Mexico.  And always, she brought back items and materials to share with the teachers and students in Waterloo.

Those tours led Angie to take up a third career, as an author, writing and publishing Day of the Dead: A Celebration of Life last year for her 90th birthday. It contains stories and photos based on her 18 years of attending the October festival in Oaxaca, Mexico.

In addition to her teaching duties, Angie founded the Snapettes baton twirling corps, guiding young girls and a corps of dedicated parents as they learned the sport, marched in parades and competed throughout the Northeast, even winning a national title.

“She was relentless in making sure our students had the best experiences possible and provided countless opportunities for fund raising so that every child could participate. She did the same thing for her trips with students with regard to fundraising. She wanted to make sure that every child could travel if they were willing to work for it,” said her daughter, Karen Moretti.. “What wonderful lessons in life!”

She sponsored Immigration Days dinners and community Christmas caroling and worked at and donated cakes for cake booths at the county fair. Retirement and joining the ranks of senior citizens hasn’t slowed Angie down.  She continues to be active in many committees, eager to lend a hand or donate a raffle basket to a worthy cause. She’s helped fill food bags for Trevor’s Gift backpack program, worked at St. Mary’ Festival and just participated in her first spelling bee to support Literacy Volunteers.

“At my age, people could say I’m too old, but they don’t. They are so kind. I’m in good health and I have a lot more to give,” she said. Angie keeps in contact with generations of students and parents through Facebook.  ”I love my Facebook!  Its one of my 99 blessings!”

At Celebrate Commemorate, you can find Angie at the Visitor’s Booth on the corner of Memorial Day Place, making new friends for Waterloo with her customary cheerfulness.  “I love everything about Waterloo,” she said  “The people are so nice. It’s a real close-knit community.”

Creative Expressions essay contest assembly 5/25/17

(L-R) Janelle Bradshaw, Dave Duprey and Jane Shaffer, Celebrate Commemorate Co-Chairs,  Bob Buffone, Commander VFW, & Bob Krupcznski,  Commander American Legion

It was a pleasure to celebrate with these students today as the Creative Expressions essay contest winners were announced.  Grades K – 8 participated, with more than 200  submissions!

 We were also entertained by the talented middle school chorus

Special thanks to Janelle Bradshaw, Lisa Sessler and all of their judges and helpers who make this such a meaningful event every year.

2017  8th Grade Memorial Essay Contest Winner
Written by: Joycelyn Dressing

Freedom is defined as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants”. But what does freedom really mean? As Americans, we are able to experience freedom each and every day of our lives. Other people, however, aren’t as fortunate. We have been granted an amazing privilege, but do we ever take time to appreciate it, or better yet, the people who gave it to us? Without these brave men and women who put their lives on the line to serve, none of us would know what freedom truly feels like.

Throughout time, the thought of honoring veterans has slowly slipped from our minds and our true heroes are being forgotten. Social media and the world of celebrities have taken over our minds. Every day we see things, whether it’s on our phones or the TV, that influence the way we think, and not for the better but for the worse. We are taught to idolize actors and singers, people who are just like us but with a more well-known name. Many veterans come home and are only known by their friends and family. Some die out on the field and their identities are never even discovered. Many of us wake up every morning and don’t even want to get out of bed, we don’t want to go to school or work because it’s “too hard”. These men and women, however, wake up every day with a passion in their heart and go out to a battlefield to risk their lives so that we can just wake up and complain about how hard our lives supposedly are. Many people can’t even sit through a horror movie; imagine living one every time you wake up. Simple courtesy among people like us has been lost over the years, too. We barely even hold the door open for one another, or are able to say a simple “good morning” to our family. There are people, though, who used that energy that you couldn’t muster to say hello to fight for you to be able to say such a simple word. These are people who risked their lives simply so you could keep yours. So why not thank them? Why not honor them?

We also need to remember that we are not the only ones affected by veterans; they fight for the rights and freedoms of people in other countries too, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers have not only protected us, but have made the decision to protect everyone. They have made a tremendous impact on not only the United States, but the world as a whole. If just being able to see the progress they have made over the years isn’t enough to convince you how much good these men and women do for everyone, than I don’t know what will. These people aren’t just American heroes, they are world heroes. I mean, what greater sacrifice can one give than your life? Our veterans have left their families because of the passion they have for their country. They enlist fear and worry in their moms and dads, brothers and sisters, about whether or not they’ll come home so that the whole nation doesn’t have to feel those emotions about themselves. By now, everyone knows the dangers of war, and yet, these individuals are courageous enough to still step out onto that battle field and fight. They fight for the red, white and blue every day. They work hard to ensure the work of the generations passed doesn’t go to waste.

Now I ask: what is freedom to you? Is it being able to say what you want every day? Is it watching your children or being that child that goes to school every week? Is it waking up every day without the fear of staring down the barrel of a gun, hoping today isn’t your last? There are people all over the world who have no idea what any of that feels like, but so desperately want to. Every morning at the beginning of our school day, we all stand and place a hand over our hearts to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, however not many of us actually take those words to heart. They’ve become routine and we no longer value what they truly mean. Thousands of men and women over hundreds of years have given up everything they’ve ever known so we can come to school each morning and say these words. They have taken the ultimate Pledge of Allegiance to their country by leaving home to fight for these words, these freedoms. Without their fiery passion and outstanding bravery, we wouldn’t know what freedom feels like. Memorial Day is only one day where we are asked to honor a group of individuals who should be honored every day. If you can’t make it your duty as an American citizen to honor them every day, Memorial Day is the one day where all of us as American citizens should make it our duty to honor and remember these heroes of war. And so, I would like to leave you with one last thought: when was the last time you truly took a moment to think about and honor these fearless fighters and all they have so graciously sacrificed to allow you the freedom you feel today?


General George Brinton McClellan, portrayed by the 148th NY Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Sons of Veteran Reserve’s own John Goloski

General George Brinton McClellan is one of the most controversial figures in American history. Praised by friend and foe alike as the brilliant organizer who developed the impregnable defense of Washington, D.C. and established the basic structure and supply mechanism of the Union army that allowed it to defeat the Confederacy, yet vilified for not following through on battlefield victories and always way over-estimating enemy strength, being blamed for dragging out a war that many believe(d) could have been won in a matter of months, rather than the years it took.

Come and meet the man himself and form your own opinions, or at least gain a desire to learn more about this very interesting, and some say very misunderstood, genius of our American past, portrayed by the 148th NY Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Sons of Veteran Reserve’s own John Goloski.

John is a public school teacher of 7th and 8th grade Band at the Indian River Central School District in Philadelphia NY.  John started reenacting as a child in 1992 when his family joined the 148th New York Volunteer Infantry Company E, based in Waterloo NY. The 148th, which is both a reenacting organization and a Sons of Veterans Reserve unit, attended many events and living histories at which John’s love of history and military music sparked his interest and developed a passion that would last all of his life.

Shortly after joining the 148th John started practicing ancient rudimental drumming to be able to portray a musician and continued to develop his music skills.  He attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and graduated with a bachelors and masters degree in Music Education.

His interest in reenacting saw him portray many roles in the hobby. He has been asked to portray everything from a civilian child to a Captain leading a company of reenactors at Henrico VA.  In 2011 John was elected to the Commander position of the 148th NYVI and has held that position since then. He also was elected Adjutant of the Army of the Ohio in 2017 after serving as Sgt. Major of the organization for 2 years.. The Army of the Ohio is a regional reenacting organization made up of other reenacting units with members from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. after serving as Sgt. Major of the organization for 2 years.

Of all the achievements accomplished with the 148th John is most proud of the units restoration of the original battle flag of the 148th.  It is currently housed in Saratoga at the New York State Military Museum.  He is very excited to portray General George McClellan at Celebrate Commemorate Memorial Day this year and looks forward to the weekend!