OSWEGO, NY – On Saturday, the Port City celebrated what the area is best known for – Winter. The only thing missing was the snow
This year marked the 11th annual Warm Up Oswego Fire and Ice Festival.
Temperatures lingered near 40 Saturday; the windchill made it feel even colder. However, the hundreds of people who flocked to Elim Grace Church and all around the downtown Oswego didn’t seem to mind.
Throughout the afternoon, hundreds of people wandered around the church to check out the vendors’ wares and watch the various demonstrations and performances.
“The crowd has been good all day (at the church),” said Nathan Emmons, festival chair. “There’s been a constant flow around the vendors and performers. The crowd has been good in the food area, and chili cook off as well.”
At one point, the unofficial count put the afternoon’s visitors at around 800. Scores more turned out to view the 6 p.m. fireworks display by Pyrotechnico.
The crowds came in waves. With the start of each new performance a new group of people, young and old, crowded around the performance area.
Emmons said he was pleased that so many area crafters were taking part in the festival. The ratio was around 70% to 30% crafter to direct sales, he said.
“I encourage everyone to enjoy our downtown and all the activities that will take place here,” he said, adding that the event wouldn’t be possible without all the great sponsors and volunteers.
Inside events included music, hot and spicy foods, vendors and crafters, Hot Chili Cook Off, children’s activities and demonstrations by Kinlough Irish Dance, Master Pryor’s Taekwondo and many others.
No one went hungry. Local vendors offered a variety of cuisine. Boy Scout Troop 888 cooked hot dogs over a fire outside.
The annual Downtown Hot Scavenger/Treasure Hunt, featured a grand prize worth $1,000, donated by JP Jewelers.
Snow bowling and making snowmen was on the agenda; but Mother Nature was uncooperative. To show how fickle Mother Nature can be – it started snow during the afternoon. The wet snow quickly melted, however.
“I think we had a nice turnout, even if there wasn’t any snow,” Emmons said. “Everything went well and everyone had real good time. We are fortunate to have fantastic community partners that help us make this a destination winter festival!”
The fireworks by Pyrotecnico display began at 6 p.m. and blazed in the sky over the Oswego River for several minutes.