Updated 07/26/2012 05:49 PM
Oswego prepares for 25th Harborfest
In the past 25 years, Oswego's Harborfest has grown from a small festival featuring local bands and children's activities into a four day event that draws hundreds of thousands people. Our Candace Hopkins tells us the push was on Thursday to complete the last minute tasks to pull the event together.
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OSWEGO COUNTY, N.Y. -- Thursday morning, crews worked to put the finishing touches on Breitbeck Park in preparation for the opening night of Harborfest.
For a quarter of a century, visitors from near and far have descended upon Oswego once a year to experience all that the festival has to offer.
"The Harborfest founded 25 years ago basically had two components, juried arts and crafts and focus on childrens," said Steve Pryor, Harborfest Sponsorship Coordinator.
Throughout the years, both elements were expanded and the main focus became featuring both local and national bands. Now celebrating its 25 anniversary, festival organizers are getting back to basics, showcasing Oswego's rich history.
Pryor said, "The cultural theme that was worked into the event was the bicentennial observance of the beginning of the War of 1812. The War of 1812 was actually fought in the Oswego Harbor during the summer of 1814 at the tail end of the war."
The festival will feature tours on three tall ships and battle reenactments on both Saturday and Sunday, with the ships facing off against Fort Ontario.
But don't worry, it's not all about education. There is music at four different venues, including the main stage in Breitbeck Park that will keep the party going all weekend long.
But to keep it all running smoothly, city officials and police will be out in force, with help from state and federal agencies.
"Well it certainly is an extra load. All of our officers will be working extended shifts throughout the weekend, and obviously being supplemented with the outside agencies helps," said Oswego Police Chief Tory DeCaire.
In the end, the goal is for everyone to have fun while staying safe.
Harborfest kicks off Thursday night at 7 p.m. with a performance by Changes in Latitudes, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band and this year's big event is Friday night, as Kenny Loggins performs two sets, starting at 7:30 p.m.
And tune in to YNN Saturday night for live coverage of the Grucci Fireworks Spectacular, starting at 9:30 p.m.