By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Sporting Contests

Haudenosaunee Wooden Stick Festival and Restore Our Sacred Lake 5K

September 16, 2023September 17, 2023 EDT

Onondaga Lake Park, 106 Lake Dr, Liverpool, NY 13088

This event has already occurred. The information may no longer be valid.

The Haudenosaunee Wooden Stick Festival returns once again to Onondaga Lake Park. The event will feature traditional wooden stick crafters and other Haudenosaunee crafts, social dancing, presentations by Haudenosaunee Wooden Stick Makers and the Randy Hall Memorial Master’s Lacrosse Tournament. Syracuse University alum Faithkeeper Oren Lyons reminds us, “When you play lacrosse with a wooden stick, you play with all the trees and animals in the world. Plastic sticks are dead sticks and don’t have spirit.”

This year, we continue our collaboration with Restore Our Sacred Lake 5K Fun Run/Walk on September 16, 2023.  We invite runners and walkers to Onondaga Lake for a day of celebration. This event will raise awareness of the importance of the lake and the urgency of furthering the cleanup efforts and the return of our sacred lake. We are excited to have our run celebrating the Eagle’s return as part of the Haudenosaunee Wooden Stick Festival. When speaking about the United Nations, Faithkeeper Lyons said, “I do not see a delegation for the four-footed. I see no seat for the eagles. We forget, and we consider ourselves superior, but we are, after all, a mere part of the Creation. And we must continue to understand where we are. And we stand between the mountain and the ant, somewhere and there only, as part of the Creation.”

“This year, we will return to Onondaga Lake for another Haudenosaunee Wooden Stick Festival in September. We live in the heartland of Dehontsigwa’ehs (lacrosse)—homeland to the Haudenosaunee. Over 1,000 years ago, the game was first played at Onondaga Lake to help bring five warring nations together in peace. CNY has benefited from this rich legacy, and as a result, this area is a hotbed for lacrosse. There are nearly 1 million lacrosse athletes in the US today and it continues to be the fastest growing game in the world. Lacrosse offers us a unique educational opportunity to teach these Haudenosaunee values to young athletes and enthusiasts,” according to Philip Arnold, associate professor in the Department of Religion, president of the Indigenous Values Initiative, and the founding director of the Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center.

With the festival, we are also holding the “Randy Hall Memorial Master’s Box Lacrosse Tournament.” Randy Hall, Akwesasne Mohawk Wolf Clan, passed away in January 2018. He loved lacrosse and was committed to the Onondaga Athletic Club where he coached and played. In 2013, Randy Hall asked Philip Arnold and Sandy Bigtree to help bring the game back to Onondaga Lake. Ages 35+; 8-20 players per team.

Learn more about the Wooden Stick Festival at

Learn more about the 5K Fun Run/Walk at

Special thanks to our Sponsors:


Learn more

This event was published on August 8, 2023.

Event Details

Parking at Onondaga Lake