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Happy Quarter Century – Harborfest 25th Anniversary Under Way

OSWEGO, NY – It was 9 o’clock on a Thursday as the regular crowd shuffled in; there’s an old man sitting next to me wearing his trolley pin. Well, that’s how Billy Joel would have written it if he was in Oswego.

Right from the opening notes Thursday night, the music had many in the crowd up and dancing.
Right from the opening notes Thursday night, the music had many in the crowd up and dancing.

Warm, but not too humid, weather greeted Thursday night’s opening of Harborfest’s milestone celebration.

Harborfest #25 opened with a few clouds overhead, a couple of pesky showers and hundreds of people young and old ready to make this the best Harborfest ever.

The music started at 7:30  p.m. – due to the weather –  with Changes in Latitudes (a Jimmy Buffett tribute band).

Many in the crowd were on their feet dancing and singing along.

Following a short (very short) interruption for the official opening ceremonies, Mike Delguidice and Big Shot (a Billy Joel tribute band) took the stage at 9 p.m. had everyone in a New York state of mind.

Changes in Latitudes paid tribute to the mayor of Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett
Changes in Latitudes paid tribute to the mayor of Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett

The group performed several of The Piano Man’s greatest hits.

The crowd continued to grow in front of the NRG Lakeview Stage as the night wore on.

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen welcomed the enthusiastic crowd to the 25th edition of Harborfest.

Harborfest, the largest family celebration in the Northeast, showcases Oswego’s greatest attributes – its history, its warmth and its people, the mayor said, adding “There is plenty of great music and events all over the city.”

The festival’s cultural theme this year pays tribute to the Port City’s role in the War of 1812. The theme will be highlighted during Friday’s Children’s Parade.

Mike Delguidice and Big Shot (a Billy Joel tribute band) performed many of The Piano Man's greatest hits, much to the delight of the crowd.
Mike Delguidice and Big Shot (a Billy Joel tribute band) performed many of The Piano Man’s greatest hits, much to the delight of the crowd.

Historically, every year, there are four magic words that start each and every Harborfest, “Let The Fun Begin!”

This year, acquiescing to a fickle Mother Nature, the shortest opening ceremony in Harborfest history concluded with the request: “Enjoy Harborfest!”

There might be some pesky lingering showers Friday, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

“But Saturday is looking pretty nice,” he said. “We ought to be warm and dry for the fireworks. And, Sunday looks good, too.”

Harborfest’s music continues today (July 27) with Kenny Loggins on the Lakeview Stage at 9:30 p.m.

Earlier in the day, you can check out WSYR TV 9’s “Bridge Street Live at Harborfest.” They will be at the Lakeview Stage from 10 to 11 a.m. And, then will meet and greet the youngsters who march in the annual Children’s Parade.

The parade will get under way at 9:45 a.m. from West Park and travel to Breitbeck Park, arriving on live TV as part of the Bridge Street segment.

Sgt. Linda Wolfe of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum performed a heart-felt rendition of the Star Spangled Banner during opening ceremonies on Thursday night.
Sgt. Linda Wolfe of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum performed a heart-felt rendition of the Star Spangled Banner during opening ceremonies on Thursday night.

Pre-parade activities will start at 9 a.m. hosted by Joe Trionfero and his Show of Love at the Novelis Family Park in Franklin Square (West Park).

Gina Holsopple will perform at 1 p.m. on the River Walk West Veterans’ Stage.

The Chris Terra Band starts things off at 1:30 p.m. and is followed by Miss E & Dovetail Joint at 3:30 p.m. in East Park.

There’s plenty of music on all the festival’s stages throughout the weekend.

The annual children’s musical, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Traders on the Border,” will be performed at 3:45 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, at the Novelis Family Park. Additional performances are scheduled throughout the festival.

Youngsters will want to check out all the other performances and activities at the Children’s Stage today and all during Harborfest.

For more information, visit www.oswegoharborfest.com