OSWEGO, NY – Harborfest turned 31 on Thursday night.
The festival was greeted by some clouds, humidity and some sprinkles. The hundreds of people, young and old, crowded into Breitbeck Park, didn’t seem to mind.
Nik and the Nice Guys rocked the stage at 7 p.m. as the crowd continued to grow larger.
There was a slight intermission at 8:30 p.m. for the very brief opening ceremonies.
Members of the Girl Scouts of Oswego presented the colors.
“I really have to thank the community and everybody here for their support,” said Chuck Handley, president of the Harborfest Board of Directors. “Very few admission-free festivals last 31 years. We are really, really lucky to live in this great community of Oswego.”
He also recognized all the sponsors and contributors of the festival. He singled out Exelon Generation and Pathfinder Bank who joined forces to ensure Harborfest’s fireworks spectacular continues for the next five years.
Oswego Mayor William Barlow Jr. welcomed the enthusiastic crowd to the 2018 edition of Harborfest, the largest “family reunion” in the Northeast. He also thanked all the sponsors and volunteers.
“I want to say hello to everybody, thank you all for coming out tonight. It’s truly going to be a good weekend; the weather looks good and the fireworks are going to be better than ever,” he said.
Mayor Barlow lead the crowd in the traditional countdown and then, in unison, they proclaimed, “Let the fun begin!”
Almost Queen kicked the party into high gear at 9 p.m. They played many of the band’s greatest hits and even had an audience sing-along to Bohemian Rhapsody. The audience, however, sang along to several of Queen’s greatest hits.
“I have been a huge fan of Queen for many years,” said Martha of Salina. “They might not be Queen, but they’re ‘Almost Queen!’”
The crowd continued to grow in front of the main stage as Thursday night wore on.
There’s More Fun Coming Up
This year’s Children’s Parade will step off at 10:30 a.m. Friday from Breitbeck Park, travel along Lake Street making its way to West Fifth Street where it will conclude at to the Novelis Family Park (West Park).
The Exelon Generation tent opens at 9 a.m. with pre-parade fun.
Harborfest’s music continues today (July 27). Hop City Hellcats start things off at 4:30 p.m. and then, Dirtroad Ruckus on the stage in Breitbeck at 6 p.m. followed by Prime Time Horns at 8 p.m. and Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles) at 10 p.m.
Over in East Park on the Jazz and Blues Stage, performers include: Pet Cheetah at noon, King Chro and the Talisman at 1:30 p.m., The Ripcords at 3:45 p.m., Mark Doyle and the Maniacs at 6 p.m. and The Skyla Burrell Band at 8 p.m.
There will be many activities in the Novelis Family (West) Park to entertain young and old.
Friday, July 27
12:30 p.m. – Catskill Puppets Performance: Willow Girl
1:15 p.m. – Nick Mulpagano
2:45 p.m. – Dan Elliott and the Monterays
4:45 p.m. – Six String Rodeo
The Children’s Musical, 101 Dalmatians, will debut at noon Saturday, July 28, the Family Tent.
Other performances are scheduled for 4:45 p.m. Saturday, noon and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday
Youngsters will want to check out all the other performances and activities at the park today and all during Harborfest.
There’s plenty of music on all the festival’s stages throughout the weekend.
For more information, visit www.oswegoharborfest.com