First Fort Ontario Festival of the Arts Is Fun for the Whole Family

Submitted article

The first annual Fort Ontario Festival of the Arts scheduled for On August 9 and 10 at Fort Ontario Park in Oswego will offer an entire weekend of fun for the whole family.

The event, a part of the statewide “Canal Splash” celebration, will feature visual arts, poetry, theater, music and dance. Fine Art and Craft vendors will be on-site 12 p.m. till 7 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. till 5 p.m. on Sunday. There will be live music all day on the city stage, children’s activities, a vintage softball game, Battle of the Bands, and a talent show! Events will be held throughout Fort Ontario Park.

Musicians interested in performing on the city stage or artists and craftspeople interested in being vendors, may pick up entry forms at River’s End Bookstore, Ontario Winds or DiscoverOswego.Com, on the lower level of Canal Commons.

Other stages will feature music, theater, and poetry performances appropriate to individual age groups, including a free concert to be performed inside old Fort Ontario at 7 p.m. on Saturday July 9.

Teens interested in playing in the “Battle of the Bands” on Saturday August 9th with local area bands are invited to participate. This will run concurrently with a Battle of the Acoustics scheduled to run as each band is setting up. The winning band and winning acoustic will have the opportunity to play the last 45 minutes of the day. On Sunday there will be talent show where area residents are invited to show their stuff. If you are interested in performing in any of the above events you may call 342-5265 or e-mail [email protected] for an entry form. Get them in soon! Deadline is July 10th.

The Children’s Tent will have entertainment each day and hands on things to do for the kids. There will be face painting, clowns, participation plays and puppet shows among other things to do!

The sport that we know today as ‘softball’ is said to have begun – indoors, actually – in 1887 on Thanksgiving Day in Chicago. George Hancock, usually considered the inventor of softball, shouted, “Let’s play ball!” He tied the boxing glove so that it resembled a ball, chalked out a diamond on the floor (smaller dimensions than those of a baseball field in order to fit the gym) and broke off a broom handle to serve as a bat. That game is now, 121 years later, known as the first softball game. In one week, he created an oversized ball and an undersized rubber-tipped bat and went back to the gym to paint permanent white foul lines on the floor. After he wrote new rules and named the sport indoor baseball, a more organized, yet still new, game was played. Its popularity was immediate. If you are interested in playing in the vintage softball game you may call 342-5265.

This festival is made possible in part by a Decentralization Grant secured through the Cultural Resources Council from the New York State Council on the Arts., and is hosted by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Fort Ontario State Historic Site, The Art association of Oswego, The Oswego Players, and The Oswego Children’s Theater.

So, come one come all, and sample all the rich local art scene has to offer. You’ll be able to say you were there at the beginning.