UTICA – A local church marked 200 years in existence in January, and now they’re planning a major bicentennial celebration that will last until November.
The Historic Old St. John’s Church on Bleecker Street in Utica is the fourth-oldest Catholic church in New York State, and the oldest within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.
On Wednesday the church unveiled its bicentennial banner, along with the lineup of celebrations that lasts from summer into fall.
Events planned for June include a concert with 20 years of church music, along with a golf outing and a picnic at Twin Ponds.
On July 9 will be a Landmarks Society Walk and Talk, and the church will host a bazaar in September.
On Nov. 4, the many parishioners served by the historic church will be graced with a visit from the bishop.
"The church has been here since the beginning," said Rev. John Buehler. "We started because of the immigrants that came on the Erie Canal first, and then also the railroad."
Buehler says Utica was just a small village when the Historic Old St. John’s Church was founded, and today there are more than a thousand families who call the church home.