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Summer Family Health Picnics in Syracuse to Offer Music, Food, Vendors and COVID-19 Vaccines

John Smith / WAER News

A major COVID-19 vaccination effort will be underway in Syracuse city neighborhoods this summer to reach urban residents with the Syracuse Community Health Center.  Similar concerts previously known as “Jazz In the City” will assume a new name this year as “Family Health Picnics.” 

The events will still feature music concerts and will happen every Sunday throughout the summer starting June 13th.  CNY Jazz Central Executive Director Larry Luttinger is looking forward to bringing music and vaccinations to residents.

“These picnics are joyous, relaxing occasions on a Sunday afternoon when you just want to kick back and relax and enjoy yourself and think about the moment.  So, let’s hope that that moment includes the responsibility to overcome your fears and get vaccinated.” 

Another partner of the event is 100 Black Men of Syracuse.  The spokesperson for the event is George Kilpatrick.  He knows firsthand that COVID-19 has been devastating to the Black community because he lost his own mother to COVID last year.

“I want to do this in her memory and for the countless of thousands of people who don’t have people like me to speak on their behalf to let them know that we want to make sure that no other family has to go through what our family had to to go through.”

Credit John Smith / WAER News
George Kilpatrick is the Spokesperson for the summer event.

Kilpatrick acknowledges that he realizes people still have reservations about the vaccines.

“… and I think we have to be honest about that…some people do have reactions but, those symptoms go away after a few days.  And more importantly after 2 weeks, you’re fully vaccinated.  And it opens up the world for you.  That we’re able to move freely and we’re able to go about living our lives.”

The Family Health picnics will have goody bags and other incentives to entice people who are still not vaccinated like food and minority vendors.  The first concert is set for Sunday June 13th at Skiddy Park from 2 to 5 PM with Alex Torres from Albany.  The final concert will be at the Thornden Park Amphitheater August 22nd with Eric Darius.  For more about the program visit click here.

Credit John Smith / WAER News
CNY Jazz Arts Executive Director Larry Luttinger.