The city of Syracuse is the county seat of Onondaga County, New York and, with a population of 145,170, is the 5th most populated city within the state of New York and the 170th largest city within the nation. The metropolitan area has a population of roughly 742,603. Syracuse is Central New York's educational and economic core, an area that is home to more than a million people. There are some convention sites located in the city, such as a convention complex downtown and the Empire Expo Center, which is situated directly west of Syracuse and hosts the great New York Fair each year. The name of the city originates from Siracusa, a city on the eastern shore of Sicily, an Italian island.
Initially, the land where the city of Syracuse lies was occupied by the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Iroquois had an alliance along with the British, causing them to drive out the early French traders and missionaries who arrived. Some of the essential historic events include the post-war granting of land to ex-officers of the Continental Army, the unearthing of salt in the mines nearby, and the completion of the Erie Canal, that took place in the year 1825.
There has been a huge exodus of industrial jobs within the area over the past couple of decades. Many of the state and local government jobs have also been declining over the years. The most essential employers which remain within the city are primarily in education and the service industries. Due to the recent expansions by Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University and the development of several small medical office complexes, the neighborhood of University Hill is expanding.
One of the divisions of Time Warner Cable is situated in the city of Syracuse. Additionally, Bristol-Myers Squibb has a complex near the Eastwood district. The company was founded by Hamilton College graduates.
There are very few large companies in the city of Syracuse. The majority of the businesses of Syracuse are small, which allows for a some level of stability. Amongst the top eleven employers in Syracuse, eight are involved in the service industry or education. These businesses have a tendency to be much more stable as opposed to the manufacturing businesses.
The Opera Chorus of the Syracuse was first established during the year 1963. It wasn't until ten years later during 1973 that this company became private, changing its name to the Syracuse Opera Company. As a general rule, three full operas are performed by the Syracuse Opera Company each season. There are several free performances which are held each and every year in Armory Square and Thornden Park, along with some other places. The yearly budget for the company is US $1 million. The Syracuse Opera Company is the only professional company situated in upstate New York.
During the year 2002 the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival was founded. It is a charitable; not-for-profit business that strives to display the magnificence of the works of William Shakespeare. It is renowned for its yearly Shakespeare-in-the-Park program at Thornden Park Amphitheater, that is offered free of charge. Since its start, the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival has attracted over 17,000 people. There are three other major programs which are produced by SSF: Kids Doing Shakespeare, Avon Repertory Theatre and Shakespeare-Under-A-Roof.