Art, street race, festival on tap in Schenectady for the weekend

There’s something for everyone this weekend in Schenectady.

There’s something for everyone this weekend in Schenectady.

On Friday night, Juneteenth celebrations begin with a solemn ceremony at 6 p.m. at Vale Cemetery. Revelers can also go downtown, where performers and artists will showcase their talent for the monthly Art Night.

On Saturday, runners will race around Union College in a 5K run to raise money for ovarian cancer research.

Those who aren’t up to a 3.1-mile run can head to Upper Union Street’s strawberry festival. Juneteenth continues all weekend at Central Park.

Art Night, which runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, will include a form of participatory art.

At City Hall, Jasmine C. Ceniceros will photograph anyone willing to sit for a portrait in Room 101.

Her goal is to photograph subtle and unique qualities in each candidate. About 15 of the photos will be selected for an enlarged Art Night exhibit entitled “Heroes of Schenectady” later this summer.

If that isn’t unusual enough, the creator of a public access reality television cooking show will also be performing at City Hall.

Joleen Button, who created “Let’s Get Cooking, with Christa and Goutam” for SACC-TV, will be on the first floor of City Hall.

In the City Council Chambers on the second floor, local film makers will show their films all evening. Filmmakers include Richa Khandelwal Bhat and Mike Feurstein.

Art Night involves venues throughout the downtown and into the historic Stockade neighborhood. City Hall is the latest addition to the long list of venues.

On Saturday morning, last-minute runners for the 5K Race for Early Detection should gather at Pinhead Susan’s on Broadway.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. and costs $30, although those who register Friday will get a $5 discount.

The race starts at 10 a.m. and begins and ends at Pinhead Susan’s.

The McDonald family, which owns Pinhead Susan’s, is intimately aware of the need for better medical treatment for ovarian cancer.

JoAnn McDonald and her sister-in-law, Nancy (McDonald) Nappi, were both diagnosed with the “silent killer,” which is usually so difficult to detect that it goes unnoticed for years.

Because there is no effective means of early detection, only half of the patients live for more than 5 years after being diagnosed, the McDonald family said.

JoAnn McDonald died in January of 2005, two years after being diagnosed. The family began organizing the 5K race that year, in hopes of raising money for ovarian cancer research.

Then Nancy (McDonald) Nappi, died of ovarian cancer in 2006.

The family now raises about $20,000 a year at the race.

At the same time as the race, the Upper Union Street business district will run its annual strawberry festival. It begins at 10 a.m., and strawberries will go fast — at the first strawberry festival, in 2007, one farmer sold 800 quarts in half an hour and every vendor sold out before the festival was half over.

In addition to the farmers, local businesses will offer strawberry-related concoctions, from drinks to desserts.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Union Street, between Lakewood Avenue and Palmer Avenue.

For those who aren’t tired yet, Juneteenth celebrations will continue all night and throughout the day Sunday at Central Park.

Two national performing artists will appear: Cheryl “Pepsi” Riley at 7 p.m. Saturday and the Legendary Soul Stirrers at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Categories: Life and Arts, News

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