Cortland Festival and Parade kicks off Sunday

By Chris Krapek

The 29th Annual Cortland Festival and Parade will begin at 1 p.m. this Sunday.

Staring at Loves Road and ending at Cortland Community Park, the parade will feature community bands, scout troops, clubs and other local organizations.

Kicking off the parade is the “2010 Mutt Strutt,” a dog-walking fundraiser organized through TAILS Humane Society. For a $25 donation, you and your dog could strut your stuff for a good cause as the money raised goes directly to help fund the operations at TAILS.

You don’t need to have a pooch to participate. Michelle Groeper, assistant executive director of TAILS, said that any four or two-legged friend could join in on the walk.

“We’re not discriminating against other pets,” she said. “If someone doesn’t have a dog or doesn’t enjoy their company that much, you can come and walk with a cat or whatever your pet of choice is.”

Groeper said that she anticipates 75 people to take part in the Mutt Strutt. She said she’s especially looking forward to hearing stories from people who have adopted pets, as she expects many TAILS alumni to come.

There will also be events for children going on during this time, including an inflatable place to joust and play laser tag, said Cortland Mayor Robert Seyller.

After the parade is over, Big Red’s Cortland Apple Cook-Off will begin. The cook-off is named in honor after Big Red, a man from Cortland who had an apple orchard and made the Cortland apple variety famous.

Contestants can enter any apple dessert dish to be judged in the cook-off.

Now in its seventh year, Seyller is seeing more and more apple aficionados.

“We’re getting some little rivalries started up, first place goes back and forth between a couple different families,” he said. “The kids division is starting to grow. More and more kids are interested in cooking. With the Food Network and all of those things, kids are more in to it now.”

Apple enthusiasts can enter into a kid or adult divisions. After their dish is judged, the top adults will receive a cash prize while children will receive ribbons.

Although some events on Saturday for adults were cancelled this year due to budget constraints, Seyller just wants this weekend to contain fun, and lots of it.


“Anytime you can get your community together and support each other and the causes [is important],” he said. “That’s all part of small-town life — the ability to get together and enjoy families.”