Category Archives: Celebrate Commemorate Events

2022 Celebrate Commemorate Parade May 28th

Waterloo Remembers

Some Suggested Parade Etiquette for those attending

Parade Co-Chair – Sarah Smolinski    315.745.9928

The parade will line up at 10:30 a.m. and step out promptly at 11 a.m. for the march down Main Street.

Slideshow of the 2018 Parade

Printable – Celebrate Commemorate Parade Line-Up

Freedom Parade

This year’s honor float in the Freedom Parade pays tribute to our men and women who have served.  Come watch the Romulus Girl Scouts come together to carry a large flag down main street in honor of all military men and women who have served and are still serving.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us in this great opportunity.

A float by Girl Ccout Troop 60562 will honor all veterans.  Any Vet who would like to ride on the float is invited to call Sarah Smolinski at 315-745-9928 or Nicole Hunsberger at 315-719-5247.

Veterans will follow in cars, motorcycles and especially buses from the VA hospital in Canandaigua.  Those who want to drive their own cars must have at least three people in the vehicle.  Following the parade, vets will be hosted at a chicken barbecue lunch at the VFW.  Please RSVP to Karen Lewis at 315-651-9513 to allow the VFW to plan for enough food.

Groups that have been in the parade before, know what fun it can be.  Once again, there will be divisions for military and officials; youth organizations, schools and families; churches, senior citizens and organizations; and vehicles.  The Civil War and American Revolutionary War re-enactors will have a “parade within a parade.” Watch for special “dignitaries” in this year’s parade including US President Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.  The very popular Hit Men Brass Band will join Downbeat Percussion, Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps, the Waterloo Central School Band and the Finger Lakes Pipes & Drums in the lineup this year.

Bring your chair and wave a flag to honor our vets and community stars!

Parade Participants Form




2022 Henry Welles Award

The Henry C. Welles award honors those individuals who “embody the character and commitment of the founder of Memorial Day toward the betterment of our community.”

For the first time in three years, the Waterloo community will celebrate and commemorate Memorial Day, and the Waterloo Library & Historical Society will recognize the recipient of the Henry C. Welles Award.

Phyllis Dunlap is this year’s recipient of the Welles Award, which honors members of the Waterloo community who embody the character and commitment of the founder of Memorial Day toward the betterment of our community. Dunlap was originally given the award in 2020, but WLHS has not been able to give her the ceremony she deserves until now because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Welles was the Waterloo druggist who – along with General John B. Murray, the Seneca County Clerk at the time – came up with the idea of setting aside a day to honor those who died in the Civil War. The Waterloo community held its first Memorial Day, then called Decoration Day, observance on May 5, 1866, and the village later became known as the Birthplace of Memorial Day and federally recognized as such by President Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. Congress in 1966.

Dunlap is a longtime volunteer for WLHS who has often dressed in period clothing to present the history of Memorial Day, assisted with book sales and other events to support the mission and operations of the library and history society, and worked with the collections of the library and historical society’s museums.

A retired primary school teacher from the Waterloo Central School District, Dunlap is part of numerous state and local retired teachers’ associations. She also volunteers with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Real Christmas in Waterloo.

Like many other previous award winners and those who have contributed to our community without an expectation of recognition, Dunlap said she is honored and humbled to receive this award.

The Welles Award ceremony serves as the first event to bring Celebrate Commemorate weekend back from its pandemic-induced hiatus, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27 in WLHS’s Fatzinger Hall.

Welles and Murray are the two men in Waterloo history most associated with the creation of Memorial Day. It was Welles who mentioned at a social gathering in Waterloo in the summer of 1865 – just after the Civil War ended – that people should remember those who died in the war by placing flowers on their graves.

Welles told his idea to Murray in the spring of 1866, and Murray took the thought and turned it into an event. Though similar observances had already taken place in the South, there is no indication that the men knew of them when they came up with their idea for Memorial Day.

Now, WLHS honors Welles’ contribution and legacy by honoring those who have worked over the years to make the Waterloo community a better place for all

The Hit Men

Saturday May 28th 12:00 – 12:20 pm
Lafayette Park Stage

Come & join us for a great show in LaFayette Park following their performance in the Celebrate Commemorate Parade at 11:00 am!


Here they’re playing “How much is that Doggie in the Window”

The Hit Men are a group of good fellas who come together from all parts of the New York area. They provide a performance that combines both the musical and the theatrical. Their show stopping demeanor means they provide the best entertainment around. Look around the site, and if you see what you like get a hold of us. If not then we’ll take care of yah. hitmen

Food, Food, Food for Everyone!

 At 4pm on Saturday May 28th:
Patriot Pizza Eating Contest sponsored by Ciccinos Pizzeria!



Food Vendor list:

First Presbyterian Church -Pies
Riblicious BBQ- BBQ truck
Celebrate Committee & Rotary Concession Food Tent – Burgers, Hofmann Hots, Ciccinos Pizza
Dandy Sandy- Cheesecake on a Stick
Dars Delight- Ice Cream
G & G Concessions- Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Dom’s Original- French fries, Onion Rings, Ribbon Fries, Chicken Fingers, Mozzarella Sticks, Fish Sandwich, Shrimp Basket
Saturday Chicken BBQ – Sponsored by Waterloo Sportsman Club
Sunday Chicken BBQ – Sponsored by Waterloo Rotary Club

Please Support our Veterans Organizations:

Saturday May 28th

7-10am Breakfast – AT Waterloo American Legion

Sunday May 29th

8-10am Breakfast – AT Waterloo VFW

For more information please contact:
Conrad Struzik- 315-246-3041

The culinary tent is being organized by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Stop by and see what’s cooking!


All activities take place in the Cornell Cooperative Extension Culinary Tent
located in Lafayette 


10:00 Healthy Breakfast Smoothies  Learn new recipes and tips to start your day right from Nutrition Educator Candace Riegel.

11:30-12:30 Add Color to Your Meals Learn why and how to add colorful veggies and whole grains to your meals from SNAP-Ed nutrition educator, Becky McCormack.

12:30- 1:30 Farm to School Recipes and Samples CCE is working with NYS Dept of Ag & Markets to bring more local produce into school cafeterias. Try some Farm to School recipes, check out our apple slicer and learn more about this exciting program.

1:30 – 3:00 Food Preservation Demonstrations Learn to safely can, freeze, and dehydrate local foods in their peak of flavor and freshness with our Master Food Preservers, demonstrating and providing samples and information to safely preserve food at home.

 3:00 – 4:00 Make Cheese!  Learn to make cheese with our Ag In the Classroom Educator Candace Riegel.

 4:00 – 5:00 Growing Culinary Herbs at Home.  Hands-on activity to grow some herbs to cook with at home, plus recipes and samples.


9:00 – 12:00 Learn how to Rethink Your Drink with SNAP Ed NY Nutritionist, Kelly!
Sample some healthy ways to stay hydrated and learn about the Fruit & Veggie Rx program.

12:00 – 4:00 5th Annual 4-H Junior Iron Chef Competition! Open to teams of Middle and/or High School Students.  Watch youth repurpose vendor food from the festival into something different and compete to go on to the NYS State Fair. Celebrity judges!

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Culinary tent will have lots of great information about food and nutrition throughout the weekend, plus gardening, agriculture, recycling, and youth programming from CCE.  Stop in for some tips and recipes.

Illumination and Remembrance Ceremony


Remembers the fifty-eight men of Waterloo who died in the Civil War (1861-1865) and recognizes all the soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in the conflict.

Ceremony at the American Civil War Memorial will be held on Friday, May 27, 2022 at 7:30pm. Located on the corner of Locust Street & South Virginia Street.

Schedules – Applications – Maps available

If you are looking for a Schedule of Events, Event Map or 5k Race Map, or need an  Application for an event or wish to be a vendor, please visit this link.

Schedules, Applications, Maps, etc.


May 26-28, 2023

157th Consecutive
Memorial Day Observance
May 30, 2023

Celebrate Commemorate Volunteer Form




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