The first Oatka Festival was held in 1989. It was Mayor Kevin Earle who wanted Le Roy to have a festival similar to what he had experienced in Dansville where he lived before moving to LeRoy. He spoke to Lynne Belluscio, curator of the LeRoy House, and Pete Weaver a local businessman and neighbor of the mayor. They visited Palmyra's Old Fashion Days several times to get ideas about the way to shape our festival.
Together Lynne and Pete planned an old fashioned community gathering. The idea was to bring the community together for food, entertainment, and fun. It was a lot of work, but the reward is seeing the festival continue year after year. It has always been the idea of the festival committee that the size of the festival is perfect just as it is, and so it continues to have that old fashioned community gathering flair.
Others have joined the committee that each year weaves a tapestry of LeRoy's many features to present a festival that is one of the nicest family events in the northeast. Each year the festival, held on the banks of the scenic Oatka Creek, starts off with a gala musical parade. Many local churches and organizations provide the food choices and the continuous entertainment is family oriented. The Backyard Family Circus, under a tent near the "library tree," is one of the featured events loved by young and old.
Another highlight of the festival is the arts and crafts show overlooking the scenic Oatka Creek. Many classes and families plan their reunions to coincide with this weekend and there is a "coming home atmosphere" for all who attend.