Our annual visitors

Published Jul 17, 2017 at 4:00pm

It was a rousing week in Rome with 700 visiting bicyclists in the city and thousands of bocce fans and players showing their skills at the Toccolana Club for the World Series of Bocce.

The bikers have become a touchstone of summer, stopping in Rome as part of the Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour. They spent the night (a somewhat rainy one this year) camped out at Fort Stanwix before heading to points east. Their next stop is Canajoharie. They pedal some 40 to 60 miles a day.

For many it’s a chance not only to see the glories of the Erie Canal but to renew old friendships and make new friends.

Each year the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce manages the stay of the cyclists, with the organizing committee made up of the city, Fort Stanwix National Monument, Oneida County Tourism, Rome Family YMCA, and the chamber of commerce. Riders can visit the fort and use Family Y facilities. There’s plenty of entertainment and food available. Shuttle buses are handy too.

As the Daily Sentinel headline pointed out Friday, Rome always rolls out the red carpet for these visitors on wheels as well as the bocce players and fans at the Toccolana Club. It’s a great friendship.