OSWEGO, NY – The rains were unable to hold back Harborfest’s annual Children’s Parade two years in a row.
The 2010 event, considered by many to be the true start of Harborfest, was postponed a day due to inclement weather.
This year, Friday started out overcast; showers made the hours leading up to the start of the parade soggy. Even a power outage that delayed the start of Joe Trionfero’s Show of Love (program for youngsters prior to the parade) seemed to conspire against the event.
However, the power of positive thinking prevailed. Mayor Randy Bateman took the stage in West Park and lead the huge crowd in the countdown to the parade – with a twist at the end.
“Five, four, three, two, one!” he said and then was joined by hundreds of children in proclaiming “Make the rain go away!”
The parade, from West Park to Breitbeck, drew several hundred participants, from infants to teen-agers.
Many of them were dressed in English attire, highlighting the cultural component of the 2011 festival – “England.”
The temperature was in the upper 70s, but the humidity made it feel more like 90.
The Oswego Health Sun Patrol, with the help of Oswego Mayor Bateman, passed out sun screen to the marchers as well as those along the parade route; the sun will come out, eventually, for Harborfest.
The parade route was lined with people; many taking pictures of the marchers as they went past.
There were big smiles at Breitbeck Park as the youngsters were treated to a variety of entertainment – despite a heavy downpour that drenched everyone just after the parade finished.
“Pretty good timing, don’t you think?” Mayor Bateman said as he watched the last of the parade enter Breitbeck. “They say things are suppose to clear up later this afternoon in time for tonight’s concert.”
“The children’s parade, that’s what makes Harborfest. It’s all about the children and families,” said Harborfest Board of Directors President John Scardella.
The crowds at Breitbeck Park for last year’s concerts were “incredible,” he said, adding he expects the Barenaked Ladies concert Friday to also draw huge crowds.
Sean Callen, chair of the festival’s children’s committee agreed. Despite the pesky showers, things have gone pretty well he said.
The parade once again attracted hundreds of children and adults, he noted.
He thanked Oswego Health, Novelis and the many volunteers that helped make the parade a reality.
“They all have been a great help,” he said. “Without their support, none of this is possible.”
For more information, visit www.oswegoharborfest.com