The following is a republished press release from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and was NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at

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ITHACA, N.Y. — On Friday, August 28th at 12:00 PM, New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, State Senator Thomas O’Mara, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, Mayor Svante Myrick, and other dignitaries will formally dedicate the newly rebuilt Ithaca Commons. Immediately following the dedication will be the cutting of a giant ribbon spanning the entire three and a half blocks of the pedestrian mall.

These dedication ceremonies, which will take place at the new Bernie Milton Pavilion in the center of the Commons (202 E. State St.) will kick off a two-day Commons Celebration Weekend to celebrate the completion of the 871-day, $15 million Ithaca Commons Repair and Upgrade Project as well as the 40th anniversary of the Commons.
The celebration will kick off at 12:00 PM on Friday, August 28 with an official dedication ceremony at the new Bernie Milton Pavilion on Bank Alley, followed by the cutting of a giant ribbon running the length of the Commons. Starting at 1:30 PM, a fantastic lineup of performers will take the stage at Bernie Milton and a huge assortment of sales, demos, and other special offerings will commence in stores and on sidewalks all over the downtown district. These range from delicious farm-to-bistro samples at Coltivare to live yoga demonstrations at The Yoga School to craft-making and storewide sales at Sunny Days. Pick up a print event guide at the Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center or the DIA info tent or visit for a complete listing.
Other Friday afternoon features will include entertainment presented by Chemung Canal Trust Company like an interactive game show with amazing prizes from downtown merchants, a series of walking tours presented by Cayuga Medical Center, and Giving is Gorges – a day to celebrate the spirit of philanthropy in our area by uniting people with over 100 local nonprofits. Be sure to check out the exhibition of historic downtown Ithaca images at Chemung Canal Trust Company presented by Ithaca Journal and the History Center of Tompkins County, as well as the freshly painted reverse-glass mural by Snowy Lajoie behind the playground, and the compilation of rare film footage courtesy of Ithaca Made Movies running on Cinemapolis’s outdoor screen.
Merchant activities, exhibitions, and special events will continue in full force on Saturday. There will be another amazing afternoon of live music plus TED-style master class talks (and beer and wine!) in Bank Alley. Formal dedications for the playground, animal tracks, planters, and benches, will begin at 12:30 PM. From noon until 6:00 PM, Press Bay Alley – Ithaca’s other favorite pedestrian enclave – will also play host to a bonanza of food, drink, music, and pop-up shopping throughout the day. On South Cayuga Street, there will be a live music stage and animal friends, and on North Cayuga Street, there will be more music and craft stations for all ages.
Saturday, August 29 is also Tompkins Trust Company Family Fun Day on West State Street and the west end of the Commons. Bring the kids and enjoy life-size board games, inflatables, face painting, theatre presentations, and more from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. At 6:00 PM, Family Fun Day and the weekend extravaganza as a whole will close with be a free screening of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the historic State Theatre.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.