Downtown Ithaca Employee Appreciation Week starts Monday


Daily giveaways, discounts, and the famed Downtown Olympics are all part of the fun

Next week, Downtown Ithaca’s employees are in for a treat: the annual Downtown Employee Appreciation Week (DEAW) is happening July 22 through July 26 at locations in and around The Commons.

This five-day event will recognize downtown’s 3,000-plus employees. Participants will enjoy daily giveaways, discounts, the famed Downtown Olympics, and plenty more throughout the week. All of the activities are free and open to all employees within the business improvement district. 

DEAW is presented by the Tompkins Trust Company and also sponsored by City Centre. It is organized by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA).

"Employee Appreciation Week is going to be filled with fun activities, hot shopping and dining deals, and free stuff for downtown’s employees. This is our way of saying thank you for all their hard work throughout the year," says DIA Special Events Director Scott Rougeau.

Employees can kick off the week on Monday by picking up their Employee Discount Card from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Bernie Milton Pavilion.

Prior to DEAW, Downtown employees can pre-register for their Employee Discount Card online at These nifty cards allow downtown employees to receive discounts at downtown shops and restaurants during DEAW and throughout the year! Starting at 9 a.m. Monday, while employees are picking up their card, they may enjoy a free cup of coffee and a pastry provided by Ithaca Coffee Company.

For those who can't make it to the Monday morning session, they are welcome to pick up their discount card at the Downtown Ithaca Alliance office, 171 E. State St. (Center Ithaca) from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

On Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., employees can use their discount card to claim a free kiddie-size ice cream scoop or a delicious Italian Soda at Green Street Pharmacy, 131 E Green St., across from the Green Street Garage. During the afternoon, from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., employees are welcome to de-stress and recharge in the Tranquility Tent on the Commons where they’ll find plenty of relaxing activities.

Wednesday afternoon's activities include free samples from Your CBD Store which will set up a mobile cart from 12:30 to  2:30 p.m. in Bank Alley and, from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m, join Mayor Svante Myrick, the DIA, and the Tompkins Chamber in welcoming The Brain Shoppe, IthacaSews, Lucky Hare Brewing, Adrina Dietra, and MamaSaid Hand Pies. In the evening, employees can enjoy a happy hour with drink specials on specialty craft beers from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lucky Hare Brewing’s new tap room in Press Bay Alley.

Thursday’s offerings will include discounted drinks during the free CFCU Summer Concert Series show at the Bernie Milton Pavilion. Between 6 and 8 p.m., downtown employees will receive $1 off beverages for their first two drink purchases with their State ID and Employee Discount Card! The bands performing that evening are Kitestring, playing alternative rock, and Noon Fifteen, playing progressive soul rock.

After the show, guests should make their way to Monks on the Commons, corner of East State St. and Aurora Street, for an afterparty featuring live entertainment.

The final activity for this DEAW is the highly anticipated Downtown Olympics! This fun team event will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on The Commons.

During this action-packed activity, teams of four will compete in games that will test their speed, agility, dedication, precision, and other less useful skills. These teams will go head-to-head in challenges such as Jigsaw Puzzle Race, Name that Tune, Pictionary Charades and more! Prizes (and bragging rights) will be awarded to the top two overall teams. Spectators are welcome to come to cheer on their favorite teams.

Downtown businesses can register their teams using a link on the DEAW Event Page under the Events tab at

Plus, all week long, employees are encouraged to participate in the Gnome Scavenger Hunt. As part of this fun activity, our friendly Downtown Ithaca Gnome Roman will be hiding in downtown businesses. Clues to Roman's whereabouts will be posted daily across Downtown Ithaca’s social media. If participants are clever enough to crack the code and locate Roman in the store of the day, they will be entered in a raffle for great prizes!

Toward the tail end of DEAW, employees should check out the Downtown Ithaca Summer Sale set for July 25-28. More than 40 downtown retailers will be participating with discounts up to 50% off in-store merchandise. Look for the Summer Sale signage on the storefronts to locate the participating retailers.

For more information about DEAW, Summer Sale, and other downtown events, visit or check Downtown Ithaca's Facebook Event Page.

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