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Oswego’s Annual Fourth Of July Parade Attracts Thousands

The county's float presented several historic Oswego County men and women, including Edward Sheldon and Dr. Mary Walker.

The county's float presented several historic Oswego County men and women, including Edward Sheldon and Dr. Mary Walker.

OSWEGO, NY – Families and friends packed both sides of West Bridge Street for Oswego’s annual 4th of July Parade on Sunday.

The day was capped off with a fireworks display (photo by Joe Falcetti)
The day was capped off with a fireworks display (photo by Joe Falcetti)

Temperatures settled into the mid 70s with a light breeze, making it perfect to sit by the side of the road under clear blue skies and watch the parade go by.

The parade came up West Bridge Street at 1 p.m. and headed east, passing large cheering crowds as it did so.

Many people have been attending the annual parade for years.

For some it is a tradition to arrive several hours before the parade and stake out their favorite spots using lawn furniture and blankets. There is an unwritten parade law that you don’t disturb a location someone has already claimed.

Tony Tuso of Oswego has been coming to the parade for more than five decades.

“We always sit in the same place,” he said from his vantage point in the southeast corner of East Park. “It’s a great place to watch the parade. You can see it all, and it’s cool and shady.”

While Oswego had hosted many parades on different occasions, it was during 1964 that friends and fellow Jaycee members Bill Green and Bill Gregway decided that Oswego needed a bigger event than just a fireworks display to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

Thus the tradition of the Oswego Independence Day Parade was born.

This year, as they always have, representatives of Oswego Health’s Sun Patrol passed out sunscreen to help keep people safe in the sun.

The sun patrol was established in 1990 when Nurse Practitioner, Nancy Dowd, a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department of Oswego Hospital at the time, noticed that there were many children coming into the emergency department with severe and sometimes second-degree sun burns following the Fourth of July parade.

Trucks, floats, and police cars were aplenty as well as a few marching bands and other musical acts, including a glimpse at the Oswego Players’ upcoming production of ‘Fools,’ which opens July 8.

Among the marching bands were: the pride of Oswego the Marching Buccaneers, Down Beat Percussion, the Island Band, and others.

Many groups threw candy to the crowd, which children dove after with gusto.

The parade may have come to an end, but the celebration wasn’t over.

The fun continued at Fort Ontario with several Oswego County Bicentennial activities as well as the Oswego Players’ production of the children’s play, “Trouble in the Magic Wood” at 6 p.m.

A fireworks display over the harbor wrapped up the events.