OSWEGO, NY – Of course there will be snow for the Port City’s annual Warm Up, Oswego festival early next month. At least, everyone hopes so.
The festival celebrates Oswego’s warm community spirit, Mayor Tom Gillen said.
He recently designated Feb. 3 and 4 as Warm Up, Oswego Weekend.
Oswego has been celebrating it famous link to winter and snow for the past several years, according to Mary Vanouse, community development director and one of the organizers of the annual event.
“Our festival has grown every year,” she said. “This year, we have a brand new event, which is a snow sculpture contest!”
It’s possible, given the stretch of very un-Oswego like winter weather, the event may have to be cancelled.
“But, you never know,” Vanouse said. “(DPW) Commissioner (Mike) Smith has agreed to save some snow for us.”
“I may have to truck some in from somewhere like Quebec,” the commissioner jokingly told Oswego County Today. “You have to remember, this is Oswego after all. We are going to get some snow some time. We just hope it is in time for the festival.”
Vanouse said organizers hope to have at least two sculptures – one near Civic Plaza and one near the Armory.
“The newest thing is the Warm Up Community Sculpture Contest. Every team and neighborhood is encouraged to create a snow sculpture – and register it at the YMCA by Feb. 1 by 3 that afternoon. The registration fee is 5 canned goods or $5,” she explained.
She foresees the competition drawing sightseers, similar to the Lights on the Lake event in Onondaga County over the holidays.
The judging of the snow sculptures will take place on Feb. 2 the awards will be presented at the Friday night (Feb. 3) bonfire at 6 p.m. next to the Armory.
There will also be the treasure hunt in the snow, Crazy Costume Sled Race, the 2k Hot to Trot run and the Warm Up scavenger hunt as well as many activities at the Armory and other downtown locations.
Visit www.warmuposwego.com for more information on registering for the sled race, 2k Hot to Trot run, the Warm Up scavenger hunt and a list of all other events as well.
The opening ceremonies will take place at noon on Feb. 4 at the Armory.
Vendors will offer hot and spicy foods in the Armory throughout the day. There will also be an Air Hop Inflatable for the kids, Irish step dancing and karate demonstrations, a foul shooting contest, and mini performances of Les Miserables by Mexico High School students and The Sound of Music by Oswego High School students.
A fireworks display is scheduled for 6 p.m. behind the YMCA.
Several downtown businesses are also planning special activities for the festival weekend.
Margaret Mulcahey handmade an amazing quilt, “Choose Your Own Path,” Vanouse said.
Mulcahey has added her special inscription on the inside corner of the quilt to commemorate the 2012 Warm Up Oswego Festival.
Tickets for chances to win this quilt are available as part of a fundraiser for Warm Up Oswego and the YMCA Armory, Vanouse explained.
“My faith in snow is quickly disappearing,” Vanouse laments. “However, someone did venture into Oswego this morning with about two inches of snow on their windshield. Perhaps it could still happen!”
“We shouldn’t be wondering if it is going to snow … if it is going to accumulate,” said Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.
On average, December receives more than 33 inches of snow, January nearly 50 and February more than 34 inches.
“Are we going to have some snow (for the festival)? Maybe. Friday, Saturday and Sunday could be the ‘start’ of winter for us. It’s going to be cold – very cold at times,” Gregway said. “Hopefully, we will get some snow and it will last right through the festival.”
Interested in being a part of Warm Up Oswego?