Cassadaga Labor Day Festival to be held on Sept. 1 and 2

SPOTLIGHT: Labor Day in Cassadaga

Submitted Photo Lily and Ruby VanValkenburg, daughters of the Ducky Derby’s chairwoman, and Waddles the Ducky Derby mascot stand by Cassadaga Lake to promote the Cassadaga Lakes Association’s event, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 1 at noon following the village’s Labor Day parade.

CASSADAGA — There will be a wide variety of activities in the village this weekend, including parades and the Ducky Derby.

On Saturday, the following activities will take place: A 5K for Cassadaga Valley Youth Program is at 9 a.m. and starts at Cassadaga Beach for a run around the lake. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. A craft and vendor show is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ames Common. The Labor Day parade is at 11 a.m. on Maple Avenue. Clams, corn and sausage starts at 11 a.m. until sold out at the American Legion Post 1280 on Maple Avenue.

The Cassadaga Lakes Association is conducting the 20th Annual Ducky Derby, which will be held at approximately noon, after the parade concludes. The Derby will start at the outlet located on Mill Street and Maple Avenue in the heart of the village. Those wishing to partake in the Ducky Derby may purchase a ducky ticket at Cassadaga Shur Fine on Route 60 in Cassadaga, or by calling the Ducky Derby Hotline at 410-0673 before the derby until sold out. Prizes include a first prize of $200 along with other donated gifts and certificates from local businesses. This is the CLA’s largest fundraiser of the year.

“We have 650 little plastic ducks,” said Ducky Derby chairwoman Julie VanValkenburg. Each duck is numbered and the tickets have corresponding numbers, she explained.

This year before the Derby, there will be games for young children along with prizes. In addition, Waddles the Ducky Derby mascot will return for his third year. He will be available for pictures and to greet those attending the event.

On Sunday, there will be a Farmers’ Market from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Ames Common. The Bicycle Dice Run starts at 1 p.m. at Cassadaga Beach and goes around the lake. It is 3.1 miles and there are prizes. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $5 adult, $3 children under 12 and helmets are required.

The annual boat parade, hosted by the CLA, is at 3:30 p.m. Participants should assemble at 3 at DEC Launch on Dale Drive. Any type of boat is welcome to join in. Boaters are encouraged to decorate their craft for an added element of fun, with this year’s theme being “your favorite decade.” A free concert by “DOS” (classic rock and oldies) will follow at 4 p.m. on the floating stage at Cassadaga Beach for all to enjoy. Come by boat or bring a chair or blanket.

Also, for the second year, the CLA is hosting “Light up the Lakes” on Sunday evening at 8 p.m. Those residents around the lakes will light flares to spark a red glow to show the beauty of the lakes in the evening. This is a beautiful (but sad) farewell to summer.

Events are sponsored by the Cassadaga Lakes Association, the Citizens for a Better Cassadaga, American Legion Post 1280, Cassadaga Valley Youth Program and the Village of Cassadaga.

The CLA is a non-profit organization that works to protect and enhance the three connected Cassadaga Lakes. Yearly projects include weed harvesting, water quality testing and education programs to help keep the waters safe and clean. In addition, the CLA works in conjunction with other organizations and agencies with the latest project being the Cassadaga Nature Park proposal. Those wishing for more information on the CLA can visit its website at or go to its Facebook page.