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Oswego Warms Up For Annual Festival

OSWEGO, NY – Three letters are associated with the seventh annual Warm Up Oswego festival. It’s not WUO; it is W_T_S – “Where’s The Snow?”

The resounding answer to that question Saturday afternoon was, “Who cares?”

Members of the Addams Family costume sled race team pause for a photo inside the Armory prior to climbing aboard their sled, adorned with the likeness of Uncle Fester (complete with light bulb).

<p>Members of the Addams Family costume sled race team pause for a photo inside the Armory prior to climbing aboard their sled, adorned with the likeness of Uncle Fester (complete with light bulb).</p>

More than 1,000 winter-weary Oswegonians packed the Oswego YMCA Armory all afternoon Saturday to celebrate the seventh annual Warm Up Oswego festival. The crowds came in waves to check out the wares of the many vendors inside the Armory and to watch the various demonstrations and preview performances of upcoming musicals at Oswego and Mexico high schools.

The YMCA adopted the festival in 2006 in order to raise money to renovate the Armory and to create more programs.

This year’s event drew hundreds of people to the Armory and hundreds more to various other locations all around downtown.

G&S Steamers hosted a hot wing festival to support the Child Advocacy Center in Oswego County. The event included live music and dancing as well.

Saoirse Rodrigues peaks over the side of the Oswego Valley Railroad Association’s train exhibit at the 2012 Warm Up Oswego festival.

Saoirse Rodrigues peaks over the side of the Oswego Valley Railroad Association’s train exhibit at the 2012 Warm Up Oswego festival.

Other hot spots throughout Oswego kept up the heat all weekend, including – a warm up wine, cheese and chocolate tasting at Canal Commons; mug o’music at Taste the World; art openings at the SUNY Downtown location and Lakeside Artisans and a  barn dance at the McCrobie Civic Center on Friday night with Great Bear Trio.

On Saturday night, the Music Hall hosted “Boots & Shorts” at the McCrobie Civic Center.

Among the other hot spots around the city were at Lakeside Artisans, Canal Commons, 1881 Steakhouse, Greene’s Ale House and Canales Restaurant.

Runners take off at the start of the annual Hot 2K Trot race.

Runners take off at the start of the annual Hot 2K Trot race.

“This is fun. This is what Oswego is all about, getting outside and enjoying the winter – so what if there isn’t any snow?” said Kelly Buckingham. “Look at all the people and stuff going on in here. This is a great event.”

“I think everyone’s having a lot of fun and that it is a ‘hot time’ in the city of Oswego today,” said Mary Vanouse, community development director and one of the organizers of the event.

Everything was going very well, she said late Saturday afternoon. There had been no major glitches and the crowds were huge, she said, adding that it might be a ‘winter’ festival, but the activities aren’t completely tied to whether there’s any snow.

Ariel found a new home Saturday. The feline was adopted by Ginny Vandish and her daughters, Lindsey and Emily.

Ariel found a new home Saturday. The feline was adopted by Ginny Vandish and her daughters, Lindsey and Emily.

A scavenger hunt led participants through the city to nearly four dozen local businesses (a record number for the event), to get their programs stamped.

The Fireworks by Pyrotecnico display began at 6 p.m. and blazed in the sky over the Oswego River for several minutes.

Downstairs in the Armory, the Oswego County Humane Society was looking to find permanent homes for several cats.

The “personal warming devices” were available for adoption at a special rate of $20.12 during the festival.

Some youngsters enjoy playing king of the mountain on what’s left of a pile of snow outside the Armory.

Some youngsters enjoy playing king of the mountain on what’s left of a pile of snow outside the Armory.

While they were successful for many this year, some other felines remain in foster homes.

To find out more about how you can help care for the cats or adopt one (or two) of your own, call 207-1070.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Tom Gillen said, Oswego is famous for its spectacular winters.

“This week we’ve had a chance to celebrate why Oswego is so famous. Sometimes snow, sometimes sunshine,” he said. “So, today let’s show the world that Oswego is one hot town!”

He welcomed the large crowd to the annual festival, thanked all the sponsors and wished good luck to everyone taking part in the Hot 2K Trot race.

A young karate student displays her martial arts skills in the Armory.

A young karate student displays her martial arts skills in the Armory.

He proclaimed the 2012 edition as “the biggest Warm Up Oswego ever!”

“This is turning out better than usual, except we don’t have any snow,” said Jackie Sheffield, of the YMCA, one of the coordinators of the festival. “Maybe it’s because of the nice weather. Everybody is having fun. They’re going all over the city, to the different hot spots. It’s good for the community.”

Inside the YMCA Armory, local vendors, businesses and organizations had booths which offered a myriad of products and services.

Among the vendors were the Friends of Fort Ontario, Air Hop Inflatables, the Oswego Valley Railroad Association, Midnight Sun and many more.

Vanessa “Murmaider” Vickery, a member of the Oz Roller Girls costume sled race team, checks out some of the items at the Midnight Sun’s booth in the Armory on Saturday.

Vanessa “Murmaider” Vickery, a member of the Oz Roller Girls costume sled race team, checks out some of the items at the Midnight Sun’s booth in the Armory on Saturday.

Performers from Oswego High School and Mexico High School gave visitors a taste of the upcoming spring productions of the musicals at each school.

Irish dancers, gymnastic and karate students also showed off their skills.

No one in the Armory went hungry. Besides popcorn and other snacks, Canale’s and Cam’s offered a wide variety of cuisine. Boy Scout Troop 888 cooked hot dogs over a fire outside the historic facility and made homemade apple crisp as well.

The Oswego Valley Railroad Association set up a railroad exhibit that was a hit with young and old.

The club’s goal is to preserve the history of trains in the area.

For more information about the group, call 343-2253.

Team YMCA poses with their first place medals.

Team YMCA poses with their first place medals.

Outside the Armory, some youngsters played king of the mountain on a pile of icy snow between the YMCA and Armory.

The team costume sled race lasted just a few seconds this year, with the YMCA team re-capturing the title after stumbling to second last year coming in behind team – YP Voice. For the festival, their record is now 6-1 in the popular event.

Four teams squared off this year. Besides a pair of teams representing the YMCA, representatives of the Oz Roller Girls and The Addams Family hurtled themselves down a snowless West First Street on makeshift sleds.

The major sponsors of the Warm Up Oswego festival included Oswego County Federal Credit Union, NRG, Pyrotecnico, C’s Farm Market, Constellation Energy, Pathfinder Bank, Price Chopper, Stevedore Lofts, Sutton Real Estate and Seaway Lofts.

Festival Warms Up Oswego

OSWEGO, NY – Close to 1,000 winter-weary Oswegonians packed the Oswego YMCA Armory all afternoon Saturday to celebrate the sixth annual Warm Up Oswego festival.

Youngsters scamper up the snow mountain in search of prizes during the annual treasure hunt.

Youngsters scamper up the snow mountain in search of prizes during the annual treasure hunt.

The YMCA adopted the festival in 2006 in order to raise money to renovate the Armory and to create more programs.

This year’s event drew hundreds of people to the Armory and hundreds more to various other locations all around downtown.

Apparently, Old Man Winter was irked over the celebration heating up the Port City and he tired to snow on the party. Ironically, it had the opposite affect.

“This is fun. So what if it’s snowing a little?” mused Larry Rapshaw. “This is Oswego. Look at all the people here. This is an amazing event.”

Cody Crouse as ‘Bill Sikes,’ belts out ‘My Name,’ from the OHS production of “Oliver!” The musical opens this weekend in Faust Theater.

Cody Crouse as ‘Bill Sikes,’ belts out ‘My Name,’ from the OHS production of “Oliver!” The musical opens this weekend in Faust Theater.

“This is a wonderful event,” agreed Jake Mulcahey. “It’s great to have something like this during the winter; it gives people an opportunity to get out and have some fun and see all their friends. This place (Armory) is packed, which goes to show how much people enjoy it.”

“I think everyone’s having a lot of fun and that it is a ‘hot time’ in the city of Oswego today,” enthused Mary Vanouse, community development director and one of the organizer of the event.”

Everything was going well, she said late Saturday afternoon. There had been no major glitches and the crowds were huge, she added.

A scavenger hunt led participants through the city to nearly three dozen local businesses, to get their programs stamped. The winner helped press the button to start that evening’s fireworks.

Sue Sweet, pushing Maria, crosses the finish line after running the Hot 2K Trot race.

Sue Sweet, pushing Maria, crosses the finish line after running the Hot 2K Trot race.

The fireworks display, enhanced by the snowflakes, blazed in the sky over the Oswego River at 6 p.m.

Downstairs in the Armory, the Oswego County Humane Society was looking to find permanent homes for several cats.

While they were successful for some, many other felines remain in foster homes.

To find out more about how you can help care for the cats or adopt one (or two) of your own, call 207-1070.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Randy Bateman joked that “last year, it was about minus 30 degrees” and he gave a short speech. “It’s a little nicer today, so I have a two-page speech – just joking.”

Briana and Alexandra (in red) Coakley watch the train roll around the tracks at the Oswego Railroad Museum's exhibit.

Briana and Alexandra (in red) Coakley watch the train roll around the tracks at the Oswego Railroad Museum's exhibit.

He welcomed the large crowd to the sixth annual Warm Up Oswego festival, thanked all the sponsors and wished good luck to everyone taking part in the Hot 2K Trot race.

He proclaimed the 2011 edition as “the biggest Warm Up Oswego ever!”

Inside the YMCA Armory, local vendors, businesses and organizations had booths which offered a myriad of products and services.

Among the vendors were the Friends of Fort Ontario, Air Hop Inflatables, the Oswego Valley Railroad Association, the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, Novelis, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and many more.

Night of the Living Sled team members cross the finish line as one of their zombie colleagues stumbles and falls on the slick snow-covered raceway.

Night of the Living Sled team members cross the finish line as one of their zombie colleagues stumbles and falls on the slick snow-covered raceway.

Performers from SUNY Oswego gave visitors a taste of the upcoming spring production of “Grease,” cast member from the OHS musical Oliver! Sang a few songs from their play and several karate students, young and old, displayed their talents.

Irish dancers and gymnastic students also showed off their skills.

No one in the Armory went hungry. Besides popcorn and other snacks, Canale’s, Cam’s and Aunt Mary’s offered a wide variety of cuisine. Boy Scout Troop 888 cooked hot dogs over a fire outside the historic facility.

Cali, one of the felines Oswego County Humane Society has available for adoption, looks for someone to take her home. If you're interested in adopting a cat (or dog), call the society at 207-1070.

Cali, one of the felines Oswego County Humane Society has available for adoption, looks for someone to take her home. If you're interested in adopting a cat (or dog), call the society at 207-1070.

The Oswego Valley Railroad Association set up a railroad exhibit that was a hit with young and old.

The club’s goal is to preserve the history of trains in the area, according to Bill Nicholas, secretary of the OVRA.

“It’s always fun to come here. We’ve had several people stop by and watch the train, and reminisce about Oswego’s railroad history,” he said. “The kids are just fascinated watching the train going around and all the scenery.”

For more information, call 343-2253.

Outside the Armory there was treasure hunting in a snow mountain. Youngsters dug for candy, trinkets and other goodies buried in the snow.

Nathan Hibbert displays the dozens of beads he (and his mom) collected as they competed in the annual Hot Scavenger Hunt.

Nathan Hibbert displays the dozens of beads he (and his mom) collected as they competed in the annual Hot Scavenger Hunt.

A pair of youngsters unearthed (unsnowed?) two large chili peppers and was awarded bonus prizes.

The team costume sled race followed shortly after the treasure hunt.

The number of teams entered in the popular race nearly doubled this year, jumping from 4 to 7. The large field prompted organizers to run two heats and then pit the winners against each other in the grand finale.

This year’s filed of racers included a squad of zombies (Night of the Living Sled), which stumbled to the starting line to the sounds of “Thriller.”

Students from SUNY Oswego's theater department give a sneak preview of the upcoming production of "Grease."

Students from SUNY Oswego's theater department give a sneak preview of the upcoming production of "Grease."

“I hope we don’t come in dead last,” team member Sue Fox deadpanned.

They earned first place in the best costume segment of the race, but were buried in the back of the pack during the race.

The race was held in the snow-covered street in front of the Armory. The YMCA’s team saw its five-year winning streak snapped by another ‘Y’ team – YP Voice.

Mayor Randy Bateman welcomes the crowd as the festival's mascot and Mary Vanouse, community development director, look on. At left is one of the Oswego County Humane Society’s mascots promoting the cat adoption taking place in the lower level of the Armory

Mayor Randy Bateman welcomes the crowd as the festival's mascot and Mary Vanouse, community development director, look on. At left is one of the Oswego County Humane Society’s mascots promoting the cat adoption taking place in the lower level of the Armory

Runners competing in the Hot 2K Trot race sprint away from the starting line.

Runners competing in the Hot 2K Trot race sprint away from the starting line.

Members of the YP Voice team display the first place medals they won in the 2011 team costume sled race.

Members of the YP Voice team display the first place medals they won in the 2011 team costume sled race.

Oswego All Set To Warm Up Saturday

OSWEGO, NY – Organizers say this is going to be “the biggest and hottest Warm Up Oswego Festival ever!”

It’s so hot in fact, that it has been listed on the I Love NY website this year – http://www.iloveny.com/What-To-Do/Events/Warm-Up-Oswego-Festival/13999.aspx

Warm Up Oswego

Warm Up Oswego set for Saturday

The 2011 edition of Warm Up Oswego boasts more than 35 vendors in the Oswego YMCA Armory, 265 W. First St., on Saturday, according to Mary Vanouse, community development director.

“We’re launching Warm Up on Friday night with a special dance at the McCrobie Building for kids of all ages,” she said. “The fun starts at 7 p.m. when the Contra dancers give a little tutoring on how to do these dances – Virginia Reels and square and circle dances. It’s going to be a lot of fun! Everyone will get their hearts pumping with this kind of country and old time bluegrass American music.”

The official kickoff for the festival will take place on Saturday at noon in front of the YMCA Armory.

At 12:10 p.m., the Hot 2k Race begins.

“Then, the kids dive into the snow to hunt for treasure right in front of the Armory. We have Boy Scouts roasting hot dogs outside and many hot and spicy taste treats inside the Armory,” Vanouse said.

Members of the cast of Oswego High School’s production of Oliver will present highlights of the upcoming musical. Meanwhile, representatives of SUNY Oswego’s Theatre Department will present highlights from Grease.

Also, we have New York State Energy Research and Development Authority presenting Energy Smart and Energy Star, Vanouse noted

The Central New York Regional Planning and Development will be at Warm Up Oswego from noon to 5 p.m., at the Oswego YMCA Armory.

Participants will be encouraged to take the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Pledge, which challenges people to take simple steps to save energy at home, at work and in the community.

In addition, attendees will receive valuable information on what resources and incentives are available to property owners at the state and federal levels for using less energy to help save money and help the environment by combating climate change.

The first 25 households to take the pledge will receive a free compact florescent lightbulb.

Irish dancers from the Kinlough Academy of Irish Step Dancing will perform at the Armory. Also in the Armory there will be karate and gymnastics demonstrations as well as a foul shooting contest.

There will also be an Air Hop and arts and crafts.

Novelis and several other sponsors and vendors will have plenty of items to present to visitors throughout the day, Vanouse said.

Dan Kamin, The Pantomime Man, will perform at 3 p.m. at the McCrobie Building.

Also at 3 p.m., one of the most popular events is scheduled – the Crazy Costume Sled Race. It takes place on West First Street, near the Armory.

The Hot Scavenger Hunt gives participants the opportunity to visit several local businesses from noon to 4 p.m. Those who visit all 25 shops along the scavenger hunt will be eligible to enter the $300 drawing.

The Pyrotecnico – Vitale Family Fireworks display take place over the Oswego River at 6 p.m. (www.Pyrotecnico.com).

Things won’t cool down after the fireworks, either.

Participants are urged to visit all the Warm Up Hot Spots: Red Sun Fire Roasting Company, G.S. Steamers, Old City Hall, Thai Rose, Canale’s and The Sting.

And then, at 8 p.m., visit the Music Hall to dance with the Gypsy Jazz group Babik at the McCrobie Center, 41 Lake St.

For more information, visit www.warmuposwego.com

Warm Up To Cool Cash

FULTON, NY – Oswego County Opportunities has launched its annual “Golden Opportunities” fund-raising raffle.

Warm Up To Cool Cash

Warm Up To Cool Cash

Tickets are $20 and participants have the “opportunity” to win cash prizes of $250, $750, $1,000, $2,500 and the grand prize of $5,000.

OCO employees helping make plans for the raffle from left are: Diane Cooper-Currier, executive director; Sue Lorenz (seated); Betsy Copps; James Schreck; Debra French (seated); and Diane Wood.

For information about the raffle, call 598-4717 or visit www.oco.org

Funds raised will benefit OCO’s mission to help people, support communities and change lives for tens of thousands of Oswego County residents.

Warm Up For The Holidays At ‘Stone Soup’ Luncheon

OSWEGO, NY – Looking for a break from the usual lunch routine?

Then bring your friends and co-workers and enjoy a taste of the holidays at the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s Annual Stone Soup Luncheon.

Jim Smiley of Catholic Charities of Oswego County receives a helping of ‘Stone Soup’ from United Way volunteer Sean Seale of Key Bank at last year’s luncheon.

Jim Smiley of Catholic Charities of Oswego County receives a helping of ‘Stone Soup’ from United Way volunteer Sean Seale of Key Bank at last year’s luncheon.

Scheduled for Nov. 18, the luncheon will help get you kick off the holiday season as you enjoy a delicious bowl of soup with your friends, co-workers and other community members.

It’s the perfect way to experience the simple joys of the holiday season and help feed those in need in Oswego County.

“Our annual luncheon has become a holiday tradition and provides a welcome opportunity for community members to come together, share the spirit of the holidays and help those less fortunate,” said Lois Luber, resource development director for the United Way.

For a $5 donation attendees will enjoy a tasty lunch featuring delicious homemade Minestrone soup from Canale’s Restaurant, Italian Wedding Soup from Vona’s Restaurant and Butternut Squash soup from the American Foundry; salad courtesy of C’s Farms, fresh baked rolls from Bosco & Geers; desserts from Cakes Galore and SUNY Oswego Auxiliary Services; and fresh brewed hot coffee from Tim Horton’s.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to food pantries throughout Oswego County to help them meet the increased demand for food subsidy this holiday season and beyond.

Tonya Crisafulli, an executive assistant at Pathfinder Bank in Oswego echoed Luber’s sentiments and is looking forward to attending the luncheon.

“The United Way Stone Soup Luncheon is a great opportunity to support the United Way’s mission to improve the lives of people in my community. The variety of soups are always tasty and it’s an chance to catch up with friends over a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter day!” she said.

Open to the public, the luncheon will start at 11:30 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Parish Center, West First Street.

Those unable to attend the luncheon but would like to donate food items may contact Helen Hoefer, coordinator of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s Emergency Services program, at 598-3980 for information on where to drop off non-perishable food donations throughout Oswego County.

For more information or to make reservations, call 593-1900 no later than Nov. 17.

Festival Warms Up Oswego

OSWEGO, NY – OK, so the temperature didn’t make it out of the teens and the windchill made it feel like 5 below on Saturday.

Ryan Bakos (in the red) and Brandon Jamerson scurry around the top of the snow pile that was filled with candies and several other treats for the annual treasure hunt ion the snow event.

Ryan Bakos (in the red) and Brandon Jamerson scurry around the top of the snow pile that was filled with candies and several other treats for the annual treasure hunt ion the snow event.

That didn’t stop hundreds of area residents from shaking off the winter doldrums and coming together to “Warm Up” Oswego.

The YMCA adopted the festival in 2006 in order to raise money to renovate the Armory and to create more programs.

The YMCA had a quilt raffle, Warm Up Oswego beads and tickets to Saturday’s fiesta were available at the front of the historic Armory.

The fifth annual event drew hundreds of people to the Armory, and various other locations downtown – on both sides of the river.

Liam Shaunessey of the caveman team shivers in his sled after completing the annual costume sled race.

Liam Shaunessey of the caveman team shivers in his sled after completing the annual costume sled race.

“This is fun. It might be cold, but the sun is shining and it isn’t snowing,” said Geoff Baer. “It great to come down and see a lot of the people you haven’t seen all winter.”

A scavenger hunt led participants through the city to local businesses, to get their programs stamped.

At the end of the afternoon, at the Fiesta party at G.S. Steamers, the winner was named.

A fireworks display blazed in the sky over the Oswego River at 6 p.m.

Porky, one of the Oswego County Humane Society's mascots, holds a calico cat that was up for adoption Saturday. If you're interested in adopting a cat (or dog), call the society at 207-1070.

Porky, one of the Oswego County Humane Society's mascots, holds a calico cat that was up for adoption Saturday. If you're interested in adopting a cat (or dog), call the society at 207-1070.

Downstairs in the Armory, the Oswego County Humane Society was looking to find permanent homes for several cats.

While they were successful for some, many other felines remain in foster homes.

To find out more about how you can help care for the cats or adopt one (or two) of your own, call 207-1070.

“This is the biggest and the best Warm Up Oswego ever,” proclaimed Mayor Randy Bateman. “There is something for everyone to do, young and old, and the weather cooperated, too!”

Valorie Newvine enjoys an Arancini from La Parrilla served up by Chef Raymond Jock. The fried Sicilian rice balls are coated with bread crumbs; the name comes from the food's shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange (arancino). The restaurant is located on West Second Street and will have its grand opening on Feb. 14.

Valorie Newvine enjoys an Arancini from La Parrilla served up by Chef Raymond Jock. The fried Sicilian rice balls are coated with bread crumbs; the name comes from the food's shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange (arancino). The restaurant is located on West Second Street and will have its grand opening on Feb. 14.

He thanked all the sponsors and encouraged those taking part in the Hot 2K Trot race to hurry and get back inside the Armory and get warm.

In the YMCA Armory, local vendors, businesses and organizations had booths which offered a myriad of products and services.

Among the vendors were the Friends of Fort Ontario, Air Hop Inflatables, Idle Paws, Jim Coon Caricature Drawings, Harborfest and many more.

The Oswego Public Library had books on sale, performers from SUNY Oswego gave visitors a taste of the upcoming production of “Songs For A New World,” and several karate students, young and old, displayed their talents.

Anthony DeMasi and Denise Orr watch the train roll around the tracks at the Oswego Railroad Museum's exhibit.

Anthony DeMasi and Denise Orr watch the train roll around the tracks at the Oswego Railroad Museum's exhibit.

No one in the Armory went hungry. Besides popcorn and other snacks, Canale’s, Cam’s, Aunt Mary’s and La Parrilla offered a wide variety of cuisine.

The Oswego Valley Railroad Association set up a railroad exhibit that was a hit with young and old.

The club’s goal is to preserve the history of trains in the area, according to Bill Nicholas, secretary of the OVRA.

“It’s always fun to come here. We’ve had several people stop by and watch the train, and reminisce about Oswego’s railroad history,” he said. “The kids are just fascinated watching the train going around and all the scenery.”

Elizabeth Paladino and Andrew Choquette display their cards as they compete in the annual Hot Scavenger Hunt. There are seen at Time and Again Books & Tea, one of the final stops along the route.

Elizabeth Paladino and Andrew Choquette display their cards as they compete in the annual Hot Scavenger Hunt. There are seen at Time and Again Books & Tea, one of the final stops along the route.

Some of the group’s upcoming activities include National Train Days on May 8 and 9, the 66th Anniversary of D-Day on June 5 and 6, and Harborfest (Railroads and the Sea) July 22 – 25.

For more information, call 343-2253.

Outside the YMCA, there was a team costume sled race and treasure hunting in the snow.

Most of the teams’ costumes also acted as insulation. However, a group of cavemen were dressed in caveman attire.

Runners head out at the start of the annual Hot 2K Trot race in front of the Armory.

Runners head out at the start of the annual Hot 2K Trot race in front of the Armory.

It was an incentive to race “very, very fast and get back inside,” one team member explained.

The race was held in the snow-less street in front of the Armory. The YMCA’s team continued its dominance, winning the costume sled race for the fifth straight year.

“There really isn’t any secret to it,” Mike Lavener of the YMCA admitted. “It’s just luck.”

Nicole Vanhorn, left, and Bonnie Metcalf enjoy the sights and sounds of the Armory during Warm Up Oswego.

Nicole Vanhorn, left, and Bonnie Metcalf enjoy the sights and sounds of the Armory during Warm Up Oswego.

Students from SUNY Oswego's theater department give a sneak preview of the upcoming production of "Songs For A New World."

Students from SUNY Oswego's theater department give a sneak preview of the upcoming production of "Songs For A New World."

Aunt Mary prepares to serve a heaping helping of homemade pasta to another hungry fest-goer.

Aunt Mary prepares to serve a heaping helping of homemade pasta to another hungry fest-goer.

January Thaw Might Hex Warm Up Oswego

OSWEGO, NY – Has Oswego warmed up too soon?

Not that anyone is complaining about the recent respite from the snow and cold. But it just makes one wonder – will there be any snow left for the fifth annual Warm Up Oswego Festival.

The event won’t take place for another couple of weeks (Feb. 6). However, plans are already well under way.

warm up Oswego logo“We’re in the middle of our January thaw, that’s for sure. Actually, we’ve been riding a pretty mild streak for a couple of weeks now,” said Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service. “If things stay like this for much longer, we won’t have any snow left on the ground.”

It’s been a “slow” winter, Gregway said. The snow total is 68.6 inches, he said Monday; last year on the same date, it was 109.6 inches.

One of the more popular events, for contestants and observers, is the Warm Up Crazy Costume Sled Race, which pits five-person teams dressed in festive costumes as they pull sleds along the street.

The teams might need to add wheels to their sleds this year, Gregway quipped.

“There are some pretty good storms moving in from the Pacific Northwest,” Gregway said. “But, the way they’re tracking right now, they will be well below the Great Lakes as they cross the East. We are likely to just be grazed by any snowfall.”

One of the reasons, Gregway said, is El Nino. The weather pattern contributes to a warmer (sometimes rainier) winter in the East, he noted.

It was also responsible for helping make the winter of 2006 – 2007 the warmest on record, he added.

The next-warmest winter on record was in 2004, and the third warmest winter was in 1998, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

“We might get some cold and snow in the next couple of days,” Gregway said. “But, right after that it is supposed to be mild again.”

What ever the weather, Warm Up Oswego has a myriad events scheduled, including a fireworks display.

The major sponsors for the 2010 edition of Warm Up Oswego are the YMCA, the city of Oswego, G.S. Steamers, Auburn Telstar Fireworks, Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Constellation Energy, NRG Energy, Pathfinder Bank, Rombough Electric, Inc., Fulton Savings Bank, C’s Farm Market and Oswego Elks Lodge #271, according to Mary Vanouse, Oswego’s community development director.

More information and registration forms for all events can be found at www.warmuposwego.com

Warm Up Oswego Fest Plans Heating Up

OSWEGO, NY – Who’s that in the red suit meeting with Mayor Randy Bateman?

No, it’s not Santa Claus checking his list twice for the Port City.

It’s Peppy, the Warm Up mascot, thanking members of the Sponsor Team for their support.

A group of Warm Up Oswego supporters pose for a photo. From left: Ellen Wahl RSVP and Oswego Music Hall; Deana Masuicca, Oswego YMCA and Warm Up Festival coordinator; Allison Inman Constellation Energy; Gail Goebricher, Warm Up vendor coordinator; Mayor Randolph Bateman; Peppy the Warm Up mascot; Paul Pettit of Oswego Police Officers' Association;  Jackie Sheffield of the YMCA; Ken Johnson of Constellation Energy; Mary Vanouse city of Oswego and Warm Up Festival representative; Bill Crist, Oswego City School District and  Richard Freeman, NRG Energy representative. Missing from the photo is Kevin Caraccioli.

A group of Warm Up Oswego supporters pose for a photo. From left: Ellen Wahl RSVP and Oswego Music Hall; Deana Masuicca, Oswego YMCA and Warm Up Festival coordinator; Allison Inman Constellation Energy; Gail Goebricher, Warm Up vendor coordinator; Mayor Randolph Bateman; Peppy the Warm Up mascot; Paul Pettit of Oswego Police Officers' Association; Jackie Sheffield of the YMCA; Ken Johnson of Constellation Energy; Mary Vanouse city of Oswego and Warm Up Festival representative; Bill Crist, Oswego City School District and Richard Freeman, NRG Energy representative. Missing from the photo is Kevin Caraccioli.

The team of hot promoters gathered at Oswego City Hall the other day to launch the Sponsor Team for the fifth annual Warm Up Oswego Festival.

The event won’t take place for another couple of months (Feb. 6).

However, plans are already well under way.

Peppy toured downtown shops participating in the Warm Up Hot Scavenger Hunt to lay the foundation for another successful festival.

Several businesses and organizations have already gotten on board.

The major sponsors for the 2010 edition of Warm Up Oswego are the YMCA, the city of Oswego, G.S. Steamers, Auburn Telstar Fireworks, Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Constellation Energy, NRG Energy, Pathfinder Bank, Rombough Electric, Inc., Fulton Savings Bank, C’s Farm Market and Oswego Elks Lodge #271, according to Mary Vanouse, Oswego’s community development director.

Teams are now registering for the Warm Up Crazy Costume Sled Race, she added.

Hosted by YP Voice of Oswego County, the popular event pits five-person teams dressed in festive(?) costumes as they pull sleds along the street.

The YMCA’s team has won the team sled race for the past four years.

Those wishing to enter a team, in an attempt to put an end to the YMCA’s streak, should go to www.warmuposwego.com

The annual Hot 2K Trot Walk/Run gets started at noon.

The scavenger hunt will take participants to various locations around the city.

Other events returning to the festival include the Treasure Hunt in the Snow for youngsters and the Frozen Football Frenzy, which will be held next to the YMCA Armory this year.

Frozen Football Frenzy (tag football) teams have been sponsored by labor unions and civic organizations.

Volleyball in the Snow is also scheduled in the afternoon.

For those seeking shelter from the cold, many indoor events will be held around the Port City.

There will be performances of “Songs for a New World” (by Jason Robert Brown and Daisy Prince) presented by SUNY Oswego’s Theater Department.

Other entertainment includes the Irish Step Dancers and the OSwingers with swing dance lessons.

There will be a karate demonstration and wheelchair basketball.

Plenty of arts and crafts and food vendors along with Air Hops and children’s crafts will also be offered.

At 6 p.m., Auburn Telstar Fireworks will launch the fifth annual Warm Up Oswego Fireworks Spectacular over the Oswego River, Vanouse said.

After the fireworks, the party continues with Red Molly at the Oswego Music Hall, located at the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake St.

Dancing with the Stars will hit the floor at The American Foundry.

“Crazy for You,” by George and Ira Gershwin plays at the Oswego High School and the Warm Up Fiesta, sponsored by G.S. Steamers, 70 E. First St., will keep things warm through the night.

More information and registration forms for all events can be found at www.warmuposwego.com

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