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Countdown To Harborfest Under Way

The 29th edition of Harborfest opens tonight. Action at the midway began on Wednesday.

The 29th edition of Harborfest opens tonight. Action at the midway began on Wednesday.

OSWEGO, NY – The countdown to Harborfest 2016 is at a fever pitch, according to executive director Peter Myles.

Activity got under way Wednesday at the midway.

The 29th edition of Harborfest opens tonight. Action at the midway began on Wednesday.
The 29th edition of Harborfest opens tonight. Action at the midway began on Wednesday.

The Army Band will perform on the NRG Lakeview Stage in Breitbeck Park at 5:15 p.m. today (July 28) followed at 7 p.m. by Prime Time Horns.

After an intermission at 8:30 p.m. for opening ceremonies, Blues Traveler will take the stage at 9:15 p.m.

For the rest of the weekend, Harborfest will provide a myriad music, food, fun activities and much more.

“Our image is changing. We are trying to get away from the beer fest party image from years ago. We are promoting the family-friendly music, food, arts and crafts festival that Harborfest was envisioned to be at the beginning,” Myles said. “We hope everyone has a good time, stays safe and celebrates responsibly.”

Everything is falling into place. Most large tents were already up earlier this week, he said.

“We are as busy as ever. There have been some ‘bumps’ but we’re getting caught up. You just have to bounce with it and keep going forward,” he said.

It looks like Mother Nature will cooperate, also.

The Harborfest Weekend weather forecast shows: Thursday: Warm with sun and clouds. Slight chance of a thunderstorm.  High 85. Friday: Sun and clouds. High 85. Saturday: Sunny and dry. High 85. Sunday: Chance of a few showers and storms. High 85.

“Love this weather (the humidity, not so much). Hope it keeps going right through next Tuesday when we get everything taken down and cleaned up,” Myles told Oswego County Today. “There is a 20 percent chance of some showers. That means there’s an 80 percent chance the weather will be in our favor. I really wouldn’t mind that much if we got a little sprinkle after midnight for an hour or two.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new I Love NY advertising campaign to promote Oswego Harborfest. The ad highlights the attractions of the free, four-day festival, including live music, fireworks and the James E. Strates Midway.

“It’s fantastic, the way the Governor has promoted Oswego Harborfest in the I Love NY campaign. He has also mentioned us a few other times as well,” Myles said.

The new ads are part of a $50 million statewide marketing initiative, enacted by Governor Cuomo in the 2016-2017 Executive Budget.

“Harborfest is a great Central New York tradition that showcases the very best of Oswego,” Governor Cuomo said. “I’m proud that this festival is supported by the I Love New York program and I encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to take a drive and check out this festival and the many other attractions and activities this region has to offer.”

Many of the same vendors are back this year.

“A lot of them want to be in Breitbeck Park. They come back each year for the same spot,” Myles said. “We have some performers and a couple food vendors in the West River Walk. Would like to have a few more but there are constraints due to the work being done on the Cahill Building.”

The midway has move to a larger location.  They also have three new rides.

This year, Strates Shows is providing 12 rides – with three new rides: the Cliffhanger, the Rockstar, and the Dreamwheel.

The Dreamwheel and the Rockstar are brand new rides the show has acquired since it last visited Harborfest in 2015.

The location of the show this year is also new. It’s in between West Schuyler and Lake streets.

There will be a one-price ride promotion Wednesday-Sunday, with the cost of the ride wristband being $20 per day on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday and $25 on Saturday.

The 29th annual Harborfest will take place from (Thursday to Sunday) July 28 to 31 on the shores of Lake Ontario.