To be fair, we didn't have time to venture far. Essentially we exited the Thruway, checked in to our hotel, attended our event, slept, and headed home the next day.
I'm sure Utica has many wonderful features...although strangely, when you click on their "Attractions" button on the city web page, it doesn't go anywhere.
But we weren't there for the location, we were there for the event. My father-in-law was inducted into the New York State DeMolay Hall of Fame. This organization, affiliated with the Masons, is the largest fraternal organization of young men in the world. It is an association of young men 12 to 21 years of age who are seeking to better themselves by learning leadership skills and practicing civic responsibility. My FIL has been a member and then a leader for more than 60 years!
|FIL, Hubby, MIL|
|The Honoree is congratulated by a member.|
|FIL's Sister-in-Law joined the celebration.|
|The cutest in-laws in the world.|
|Hubby and his favorite cousin...DeMolay is a family affair.|
|Another young man congratulates FIL...|
It was really a lovely event...a good mix of elder statesmen and the youth that will lead the next generation. And if you think it was all stuffy and prestigious....it all started with my FIL yelling "COXSACKIE!!" at the top of his lungs into his cell phone to the younger members. A tradition that could only come from 12-21 year old boy-men traveling together up the thruway and giggling at the funny town name. FIL also got to yell "ORC is In. The. House." at the start of his speech...which was rewarded by a raucous cheer from a whole table of young men who are so devoted to him that they made the trip to fun-filled Utica to celebrate the event.
At least I don't think their enthusiasm to join the event had anything to do with the New York State Cheerleading competition also in town.