SYRACUSE – Chautauqua Wawasee has a full calendar of programs planned for the 2021 season, including several new programs.

The season kicks off with Master Gardener John Edgerton, who’s returning for a second time to discuss “Gardening in the Face of a Changing Climate,” according to a news release provided by Chautauqua Wawasee.

“Last January’s program was well attended and very interactive, plus we’ve had a number of requests to repeat it,” said Mark Knecht, the organization’s president.  “Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation and the Syracuse-Wawasee Garden Club have agreed to co-sponsor again this year.”

The program will be held at the Syracuse Community Center, starting at 1 p.m. April 24.

Several new programs are:

• To honor Memorial Day, Chautauqua Wawasee and Syracuse American Legion Post are working coordinating as many as 30 buglers to perform “Taps Across the Water at Dusk.” Buglers will be strategically positioned around Syracuse Lake, Wawasee and Papakeechie, all playing taps at sunset on May 30 as a memorial tribute to veterans, family and friends.

• Abraham Lincoln re-enactor Danny Russel will entertain at 4:30 p.m. prior to the annual patriotic Pops Concert on June 27 at Oakwood Resort.

• The first annual Chautauqua Lake Fun Film Festival is set for Aug. 7 at the Pickwick Theater in Syracuse. During June and July, Chautauqua will be collecting individuals’ cell phone videos of skiing, tubing, picnics, BBQ and all sorts of family fun, combining them for showing on the big screen at the Pickwick. Information on how to submit fun videos and prizes will be available on Chautauqua’s website and Facebook in May.

• Author and peace-seeker Cliff Kindy will discuss his travels to trouble spots around the world such as Iraq, Nigeria, Colombia and Israel/Palestine with Christian Peacemaker Teams in a session titled “Resurrection Peacemaking.”

Oakwood Resort will host this program on Oct. 6.

Many of Chautauqua’s regular annual programs are returning:

• Spring and Fall Historical Wawasee SS Lillypad II cruises are offered in collaboration with the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum. Ann Garceau narrates the cruises, sharing her knowledge about historic hotels, property owners, restaurants, entertainment venues, boat taxis and other points of interest as the SS Lillypad II proceeds around the shoreline of lake.

• The seventh annual Wawasee Fine Arts Festival at Oakwood Resort is set for June 12. Oakwood will be busy that day as it also hosts the WPOA breakfast, Wooden Boat Rally and Car Show.

• In collaboration with the Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, the third annual Native American History three-day series is set for Sept. 2-4. Speakers from Notre Dame University will present “Kosciusko Count: Paleo to Potawatomi” on Sept. 3. The Sept. 4 program will be an outdoor family affair with numerous hands-on activities at the WACF Pavilion and Amphitheater.

• The Old Fashioned Christmas returns Nov. 27 and promises to be bigger than ever … with more Christmas characters, live nativity, sleigh rides, Santa and the Christmas Tree lighting at 6 p.m.

Discussing the 2021 programs, Knecht said, “Chautauqua programs are designed for the whole family: grandpa, grandma, mom, dad and the kids; we have children’s activities built into most of our programs when possible. As an organization built by volunteers, we welcome anyone who has time or talents to offer.”

Contact Knecht or the Chautauqua office if you’d like to get involved. More details on program dates, times, locations are available on the Chautauqua website at or their Facebook.

Chautauqua Wawasee is a non-profit 501c3 organization in Syracuse, focused on providing unique life enriching experiences for the whole family. Most programs are offered free to attend, supported by grant funding and individual donations.