Antonio Varacalli Day Celebrations


Seneca Falls, NY, February 27, 2023 —- When Antonio Varacalli, an Italian immigrant working in Seneca Falls saw a woman drowning in the Cayuga and Seneca Barge Canal on April 12, 1917, he immediately jumped in to rescue her.  Although Antonio saved her life, he drowned.  Antonio’s extraordinary civilian heroism was recognized posthumously with a bronze Carnegie Hero Fund Medal.

The Town of Seneca Falls will remember Antonio Varacalli by honoring and celebrating our community’s heroes on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 11:00am on the Bridge Street Bridge.  The ceremony will start with a procession of police, girl scouts, boy scouts and the Seneca Falls Mediocre Marching Band Drummers to the Bridge Street Bridge.  The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission’s Investigation Report will be read.  Mynderse Academy Chamber Singers will perform.  There will be a Hero’s Blessing, Reading of the Proclamation, ringing of The Bells of Bedford Falls and a flower ceremony.

Seneca Falls residents are being asked to nominate a person perceived by their friends and neighbors to be a “good citizen and hero” to receive the annual Antonio Varacall Day Award.  Nomination forms can be picked up at Downtown Deli – 53 Fall Street, WomanMade Products – 91 Fall Street, Seneca Falls or by visiting  All nominations must be received by Friday, March 31.

The theme “Who in Your Life Has Influenced You the Most” has been chosen as a topic for the essay contest which Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s students have been invited to participate in.  The children in grades 3, 4 & 5 will be writing about people that have been a positive influence in their lives.  Winners from the essay contest will be awarded prizes during the ceremony.

Antonio Varacalli Day is a project of the It’s A Wonderful Life Festival Committee.  Sprinkles Starship will be selling ice cream in the Recreation Center parking lot during this event.

For more information on the Celebration and ways you can be involved, contact