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Your Complete Oswego Harbor Fest Survival Guide

Karen Blaha, flickr

This weekend marks the 25th annual Oswego Harbor Fest, a four day celebration held during the last weekend in July, and the city wants to make sure that this year’s event goes off with a bang.

Only an hour and a half from Utica along I-90 West and 481 North, the lakefront city has enough things to do to keep the family interested for the whole weekend and then some. Although Harbor Fest started Thursday, there are still plenty of options for the drinker, the music enthusiast, the tourist and the average visitor.

This year’s theme is the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and is found everywhere throughout the weekend, including on the event’s poster, in the children’s parade and the music. The War of 1812 also coincides perfectly with the past two themes used, France and Great Britain; the two main players in the war, besides the U.S.

Among this year’s musical acts are the U.S. Army Band “Avalanche,” Dan Elliott’s Great American Songbook and Fritz’s Polka Band, a local group out of Verona. Of course, the main headliner this year is Kenny Loggins, the creator and mastermind behind the hit songs “Danger Zone” and “Angry Eyes.” He first performs at 8 p.m. on Friday as a member of the Blue Sky Riders. Then, at 9:15, he’ll return to play some of his greatest hits. Both performances will take place on the NRG Lakeview Stage.

Jamie Lantzy, flickr

If you’re not into Kenny and his action-themed musical selections, there are plenty of other things to do. There are showings of the Catskill Puppet Theater, the Entergy Nuclear Activity Tent, horse rides and an antique show on Saturday and Sunday.

Kids and adults alike can also find some fun on the Reithoffer Midway with games and rides. The midway is open from 11 a.m. until midnight on Friday and Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Saturday night may be the highlight, though, as Entergy sponsors the Grucci Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. The event has never been rained out and has always provided spectators with a show worth seeing. According to Harbor Fest, this year’s explosions will be bigger and better than ever!

Although there are plenty of places to park, Harbor Fest organizers say the easiest way to get around is to park at the Romney Field House at the O’Mara Welcome Center on State 104 and ride in. The cost is $5 per day, per vehicle. If you park overnight at any Harbor Fest parking lot, vehicles will be towed at your expense.

So, there you have it! Four days of fun, fireworks and Kenny Loggins. Whether you care about the theme or not, everyone can be guaranteed a good time and a great story to tell their friends back home.

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