From Thursday, May 4th through Sunday, May 7th, Downtown Ithaca is going to be bursting with activity as the area plays host to many crowd-pleasing events.
The 8th Annual Spring Writes Literary Festival, a four-day (May 4 – May 7) Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County program that features 90 writers at 35 literary-themed events, kicks off the weekend of amazing activities. Admission for the entire festival is a recommended $5 button purchase. Buttons will be at every event and beforehand at Buffalo Street Books and the Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center in Center Ithaca. Check out http://www.SpringWrites.org for a complete schedule.
Next up is Create Upstate, a three-day conference that will attract makers, designers, and creatives from across the state. Creatives will be in town to attend workshops sessions, discussions, and conference celebrations. This year, too, Create Upstate brings a public street fair from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. downtown on Friday, May 5 during the day on W. State Street. Additional information about this event can be found at http://createupstate.com.
Speaking of creatives and designers, you best not miss Downtown Ithaca Fashion Night and Gallery Night from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 5 where you’ll find tons of great pieces to wear or display.
Fashion Night has become an annual tradition for retailers to greet customers with an evening of style and fashion-inspired entertainment. It’s the perfect event for those looking to spruce up their style for the summer, or just check out the latest trends in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Gallery Night is a monthly walking tour of the city’s galleries and other sites that showcase works from artists who practice different types of media — painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. Both of these events will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at various locations throughout downtown and on The Commons. For more details, including participating locations, visit our Facebook Events Page by clicking here or visit http://www.gallerynightithaca.com.
Before heading over to Fashion and Gallery Night, grab a snack at Lou Cassaniti’s Annual Hot Dog Day Fundraiser which is set for Friday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Ithaca Commons near 15 Steps. By purchasing a hot dog, bratwurst, and/or chicken spiedies that day from Lou, you’ll be supporting the SPCA of Tompkins County! Vegan “not-dogs” will also be available for purchase.
You’ll also want to visit the Congo Square Market from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday at Press Bay Alley where you’ll find nutritious and holistic foods, self-care products, spectacular music and entertainment, beautiful arts and crafts, and more.
Also, this Friday, experience Cinco De Mayo Downtown in Ithaca fashion by joining the Ithaca League of Women Rollers for its Season Kickoff Cinco de Mayo Bar Crawl! They’re starting at Viva Taqueria at 6 p.m. and making their way down the Commons.
Monks on the Commons will also be serving special drinks in celebration of Fashion Night and Cinco de Mayo, delicious finely crafted concoctions featuring fish and cajun tacos, Sangrias, and other specialty items.
Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, you won’t want to miss the 6th Annual Ithaca Skate Jam which is brought to the area by Comet Skateboards and Real Action Sports. The action will take place at the Top of Buffalo Hill and at Ithaca Skatepark where participants will be able to shred to their heart’s content. Visit https://www.ithacaskatejam.com for more information, including details about registering for the event.
While you’re visiting downtown to check out the skaters, visit Comics for Collectors, 207 N. Aurora St., on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for its Annual Free Comic Book Day. More than 50 comic books will be up for grabs. Plus, Ithaca Digital Art Creator Jon Heaffner will be at this year’s event. Come meet and talk with him about his upcoming projects.
Of course, this isn’t the only time that’s downtown Ithaca is going to be hopping with activity. Keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and subscribe to our E-Newsletter for information about many more spectacular events and full-filled activities happening in Downtown Ithaca this year.
Don’t forget parking is free on Saturday and Sunday in Downtown Ithaca. Spots will be available in the Green, Seneca and Cayuga Street garages. Valet parking is available from 12 noon to 10 p.m. at the Ithaca Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn.