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September 22, 2018

Oswego Police Announce Harborfest Advisories

OSWEGO – In preparation for Harborfest 2016, the Oswego Police Department wishes to announce the following advisories regarding traffic, pedestrian and general information specific to the Harborfest celebration scheduled for July 28 – 31.

Traffic Detour

State Route entering the city of Oswego is closed to northbound traffic. Please use State Route 481.

Alcoholic Beverages / Open Container Ordinance

Harborfest is designed to be a fun, family oriented event and we ask all those attending Harborfest to be respectful of others enjoying the festival and to act responsibly.

The city of Oswego’s Open Container Ordinance, which prohibits the possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a public place, will be strictly enforced throughout this event.

Fines for this violation can be up to $250, 15 days in jail or both.

The only exceptions to the ordinance, where adults over the age of 21 may legally possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage in public space are: Breitbeck Park, the picnic areas located in Wright’s Landing and the designated vendor Café area in Washington Square.

Traffic Control / Signage

As always, there are many signs directing traffic in certain areas.

Additionally, there may be other signage specific to Harborfest (such as no left turn signs, temporary no parking signs, etc.) that may be in place.

We ask that motorists pay particular attention to the signage over the Harborfest weekend to help eliminate undo traffic congestion as a result of disobeying the traffic control devices.

Street Closings

West Schuyler Street between West First Street and West Second Street (Thursday through Sunday) and West Third Street between West Cayuga Street and West Seneca Street (Friday and Saturday).

Wright’s Landing

There will be limited parking available for vehicles at Wright’s Landing Thursday – Sunday for a fee of $10.


Parking is limited near all Harborfest venues.

Additionally, to help facilitate the movement of emergency vehicles, the following parking restrictions will be in effect (some of which may already be in place):

Streets that run North / South

West First Street between West Seneca Street and Lake Street (No Parking East side)

West Second Street between West Bridge Street and Lake Street (No Parking East side)

West Third Street between West Bridge Street and Lake Street (No Parking East side)

West Fourth Street between West Seneca Street and Lake Street (No Parking East side)

West Fifth Street between West Utica Street and Lake Street (No Parking East side)

West Sixth Street between West Bridge Street and West Van Buren Street (No Parking East side)

West Seventh Street between West Bridge Street and West Schuyler Street (No Parking East side)

Montcalm Street between West Schuyler Street and Lake Street (No Parking East side)

West Eighth Street between West Bridge Street and West Cayuga Street (No Parking West side)

West Eighth Street between West Cayuga Street and Lake Street (No Parking East side)

Ontario Street between West Cayuga Street and Lake Street (No Parking East side)

Liberty Street between West Bridge Street and the North End (No Parking East side)

Dorcas Street between Bronson Street and West Van Buren Street (No Parking East side)

Streets that run East / West

West Bridge Street between West First Street and West Third Street (No Parking North side)

West Cayuga Street between West First Street and West Bridge Street (No Parking North side)

West Seneca Street between West First Street and West Bridge Street (No Parking South side)

West Schuyler Street between West First Street and Liberty Street (No Parking North side)

West Schuyler Street between Liberty Street and John Street (No Parking Either side)

West Schuyler Street between John Street and First Avenue (No Parking North side)

West Van Buren Street between West Second Street and Liberty Street (No Parking South side)

Bronson Street between Montcalm and Liberty Street (No Parking North side)

Handicap Parking

Handicap parking is limited in the Breitbeck Park area.

Note: These handicap parking spaces are usually full by late morning on the day of the fireworks.

Please consider using trolleys and cabs as they will be allowed access.

Ticketing and Towing

Parking violators will be ticketed and towed beginning Thursday, July 28.

Any towing fees incurred will be assessed by and payable to the associated tow company.


We ask people attending Harborfest to use crosswalks at an intersection controlled by a police officer or a traffic light, as vehicular traffic will be heavy, particularly on Saturday.

We also ask that motorists be extremely cautious of pedestrian traffic.

Pedestrian safety is a priority for the Oswego Police Department and we ask all pedestrians to use the sidewalks as they walk throughout the city during Harborfest.

For additional Harborfest information, visit www.oswegoharborfest.com.

8 Responses “Oswego Police Announce Harborfest Advisories”

  1. John Q Citizen
    July 27, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Serious question:

    Why are there open container laws?

    If we believe in liberty and individual freedom why can’t a human being walk freely on the Earth and drink alcohol? (or smoke a joint but we can leave that aside for a moment)

    It would be so much more fun if people could really party during this “festival,” without overbearing police repression, and drink in the streets if they feel like it.

    Further evidence of the Infantilization of Oswego and America.

    Come on Mayor Barlow! Bring back the booze and the fun!

  2. Herbv
    July 27, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Adults know how to set limits on their own, infants need people to set limits for them. There are plenty of places to drink openly, like Breitbeck, water st. And your own property. The infants at harbor fest don’t need to be drinking on the streets. The police are not being repressive they are simply enforcing laws, which America is a nation of.

    July 27, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Fact of the matter is Johnny, there are many other people and children who attend the event besides Harborfest drunks. Besides, the more you drink, the more likely you are going to end up peeing in the road or on a sidewalk. If you aren’t old enough to drink responsibly, perhaps you should just stay home or learn how to have a good time without alcohol or drugs being necessary. In fact, your whole response is probably the reason they don’t allow it. If you can’t make rational sense while being sober, it’s no wonder they don’t allow it. Think about it.

    July 27, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Serious answer:

    It’s a public safety issue “Mr.Q”, simple as that. Even if it wasn’t, nobody want’s your empty beer cans in their front yard, or broken beer bottles on the sidewalks. Let’s also not forget the “macho effect” that would probably happen when you picked a fight with someone after exceeding your limit of alcohol, or resisting arrest when you started declaring your “constitutional rights” to do anything and everything in public. Hopefully you will be walking to the event and not driving. Think before you drink.

  5. John Q Citizen
    July 28, 2016 at 1:00 am

    I don’t find any of the responses convincing in the least.

    I guess we just have different ideas about what a free society looks like.

    Did they have open container laws in Shakespeare’s time?

    Did Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson limit their drinking in Paris to enclosed spaces as if humans cannot behave responsibly and decently while drinking.

    You guys jumped to some pretty nasty stuff. The “infants” that drink? I’m talking about a person, man or woman, adult, feels like walking down the street with a beer, or a glass of wine, or whatever.

    I’m not talking about broken bottles or excessive drunkenness.

    I’m not talking about physical violence or “drunks.”

    I’m talking about freedom. Freedom to drink, freedom to smoke pot, whatever. Harborfest is a time when rules should be eased for cultural celebration. That’s what a mature society full of people joyful to be alive might look like. Instead, we instruct the police to engage in policing of behavior that should not be illegal. Putting a substance into your body to enhance your enjoyment of a moment while walking down a street is not criminal behavior … unless you live in a nation of oh so many laws!

  6. Lester
    July 28, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Well John Q, failure to understand the rational and common sense contained in our replies shows that perhaps you are still an immature infant of sorts. Unfortunately, many of the scenerios I mentioned can often be directly attributed to alcohol use… just read the police blotter section of this website for about a month every day for further proof. Furthermore, I don’t believe it sets a good example for the children by implying that the only reason (or need) to
    celebrate any event is by intoxication. It’s truly quite sad to see people who seem to always have a need to have an alcoholic beverage in their hand in order to enjoy themselves. “Real freedom” is not being addicted to any substance.

  7. James Madison
    July 28, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Harborfest isn’t an event intended to be the cultural equivalent of Woodstock. It’s a event which is also held on public property, not private. As such, it’s regulated by public safety laws for good reason.
    Using your logic in regard to enforcement of established laws you view as “police repression” when applied to such a “cultural celebration”, perhaps you’d agree that the attendees should also have the freedom to park anywhere they desire, disobey traffic controls, party ’till dawn, and enjoy unfinished open container beverages in their cars while driving home…all to satisfy your misguided beliefs of what “liberty” and “individual freedom” in a mature “free society” should allow?

  8. Herbv
    July 28, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Infantilization was your word. You sound very tortured by your inability to not enjoy a moment without a beer in your hand. I like a beer as much as anyone, but I’m ok drinking on water street, Breitbeck park, any restaurant or my own house. If you can only enjoy a moment while smoking pot or consuming alcohol, there are people you can (and should) talk to. Laws are developed because a society decides where the boundaries are. With prohibition we went too far and it was adjusted. With marijuana, it is a states rights issue and that is changing as well. As for Paris in the 1700’s? I’m sure Ben Franklin was boozing it up all over Versailles, but the royalty would never hang with the “Free” French peasants “enjoying moments” all over Paris. We are free, because of our laws, freedom without laws is anarchy. To each his own.

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