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July 16, 2018

Festival Celebrates Book Character ‘Madeline’ and her Connection to Oswego on June 2


OSWEGO – “Madeline” fans of all ages can celebrate Oswego’s connection with children’s author Ludwig Bemelmans in a full day of activities on June 2.

Artists Larry Rapshaw and Laurie Kester display some of the artwork created for the Madeline in Oswego Festival. The Oswego Civic Arts Center will have materials on hand for visitors to create their own Madeline works of art.

Artists Larry Rapshaw and Laurie Kester display some of the artwork created for the Madeline in Oswego Festival. The Oswego Civic Arts Center will have materials on hand for visitors to create their own Madeline works of art.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fort Ontario State Historic Site and the nearby Oswego Civic Arts Center on East Fourth Street in Oswego.

Admission is free.

Bemelmans, who wrote the beloved children’s book series about the little girl named Madeline, served as a private in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Ontario in 1917.

“There are a variety of activities planned to celebrate the Madeline books,” said Mary Kay Stone, organizing committee chair. “We’ll have crafts, children’s games, book readings, a children’s parade, and performances of ‘Madeline and the Gypsies,’ an original skit written by Oswego playwright Rick Sivers.”

Several programs are scheduled:

Kitefest: Visitors can buy a kite and decorate it at the Oswego Civic Arts Center, bring their own kites, and watch members of the New York Kite Enthusiasts group fly their colorful and unique kites in the skies over Fort Ontario.
Children’s parade: Starts at 1 p.m. at the Oswego Civic Arts Center. Madeline fans are invited to dress as their favorite book character. Madeline and Pepito hats will be available for sale at the arts center.
Ice cream social: A free ice cream social will follow the parade. The event is sponsored by the Children’s Museum of Oswego.
Arts and crafts at the Arts Center: A variety of free coloring, painting and collage projects will be held. Visitors can also buy their own white kite, decorate it, and fly it on the fort grounds.
Book readings: Madeline will appear in costume and read stories from the Madeline series throughout the day on the fort grounds.
Bemelmans stories: Oswego actor Matthew Fleming will portray Ludwig Bemelmans and tell stories of his time spent at Fort Ontario.
• “Madeline and the Gypsies”: Performances of a skit by the Oswego Players and children in the audience will take place on a gypsy wagon stage.

Food concessions will also be available.

The festival is sponsored by Friends of Fort Ontario, Oswego Art Association, Children’s Museum of Oswego, Fort Ontario State Historic Site, the Oswego Players, and Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

For information about the festival, call Fort Ontario State Historic Site at 315-343-4711 or visit http://historicfortontario.com/event/bemelmans-festival/

For Oswego County visitor information, call 1-800-248-4386 (1-800-248-4FUN) or go to www.visitoswegocounty.com.

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