The village of Oriskany will literally be ringing in the holiday season as a part of an annual holiday tradition.
David Fay was honored as one of the bell ringers this year.
“I think that it is just the historical concept the bell has been here. For people my age,we grew up as it being just the symbol of Oriskany. It was always the bell that we listened to. When it was time to come home at night, you heard the bell. you knew it was time to come home. it was just the fixture of Oriskany. When the Mill got sold and changed hands and stuff, we always wondered what was going to happen to the bell, and we are just happy they kept it in its position,” said Fay.
The bell is located on top of the Waterbury Felt Mill. It first rang in 1819, and has been an icon in Oriskany ever since.
“I’m just glad that they chose me. I am very happy to ring the bell,” said Fay. ” I’ve never rung the bell, even though I have lived in and around Oriskany for many years. I am glad the committee has chose me.”
But Fay is not the only one chosen to ring the bell. Today at the Oriskany Fire Department, there was a raffle drawing of a students name to ring the bell. The student selected was Mara Dibble.
Michele Casaletta is apart of Oriska Jobs and Carrers, the organization that put the raffle together.
“We’re very pleased to have the Oriskany Bell be apart of our Community again this year. By giving the students a chance to ring the bell as a part of the raffle, they get to learn about our community and our roots. The bell is a real way to connect our younger generation to our past. We plan on continuing this tradition for the next 200 years,” said Casaletta.
Oriskany High School Juniors, Janine Zegarelli and Joy Armstrong shared their memories of the ringing of the bell tradition.
“It’s a community event, so it brings the whole community together. I’ve been going to this since I was little, and I can remember going to see Santa, and getting cookies and seeing the horses,” said Armstrong. ” It’s a great community event that brings everyone together and we get to celebrate Christmas.”