A Look Back At Harborfest 2016

OSWEGO – Despite a few “bumps” here and there everything went rather well for the 29th edition of Harborfest, according to Pete Myles, executive director.

Dennis DeYoung, center, performs Friday night.
Dennis DeYoung, center, performs Friday night.

“We had some real good crowds and there were no major issues,” he told Oswego County Today. “I’ve heard many positive comments from people, especially about Dennis DeYoung (Styx concert). I think he exceed everyone’s expectations.”

Waiting about an hour for Blues Traveler to finally take the stage didn’t sit well with some people.

“Blues Traveler wasn’t worth the price of admission. I can’t believe they made us wait like that and no one came out and told us what was going on,” said Larry from Liverpool.

However, Fran Hoefer said he is a Blues Traveler fan.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them. I saw them in concert before. They’re a good group,” he said.

Around the festival, other bands and activities received good reviews.

The fireworks were a big hit with everyone again this year
The fireworks were a big hit with everyone again this year

“I have head from many people that the crowds at the stages this year are the largest they have seen in the last three to five years,” Myles said. “Many parents were very impressed with the number and variety of activities for their children at West Park. It was a big hit this year. And, the fireworks were spectacular – as always.”

“Things went very well. We had a bunch of people taping/photographing the fireworks display on our end. I couldn’t believe the crowds that showed up to see the fireworks, it was really amazing,” Margaret Gnadt, PR director agreed. “As of right now, people are saying really positive things, which is good for us! I’m so proud to be a part of this this year, it really felt special. And I loved how it was an enormous collaborative effort on everyone’s part, from sponsors to members to staff,vendors, volunteers, and festival goers!”

“The Dreamwheel ride was a nice new addition to Harborfest. It was very pretty lit up at night and from up top of it you got a great view of all of Oswego including Lake Ontario and the Oswego River,” said Lindsay Cleverly.

“Actually, my friends and I found it kind of boring this year. We didn’t stay too long,” said Stephanie Grover.

“I always get a wine slushy and this year I got a chicken wrap from Wrap It Up. They were both good. The ride selection was not very great for my kids and the games were just as expensive. But my son had fun playing them,” said Mark Shatraw. The fireworks were good, as always, too. It’s nice to just be able to walk this part of Oswego and enjoy all the scenery.”

“I liked the fact that it was a low-key festival. The weather was great; food was great, but very overpriced. Very family oriented. A few of the negative comments were that there was nothing really at the fort. It would have been nice to showcase Fort Ontario,” said Kristen Binder.

To highlight the discrepancies in the food prices, one fest-goer pointed out that one vendor in Breitbeck Park was selling 12-ounce cans of Pepsi for $2. Just about directly across the way, another vendor was selling 24-ounce bottles of Pepsi for $2.

“Most vendors are doing well. Heard this morning that one ran out of food!” Myles said Sunday.

“Up to this point, from our perspective, this weekend has been what you would expect Harborfest to be – a fun family event where everyone seems to be enjoying themselves while exploring what Harborfest and Oswego has to offer,” said Police Chief Tory DeCaire. “Great weather has certainly helped. And, although it’s hard to judge attendance, those who are here have been polite and cooperative with very few law enforcement related issues.”