Oswego Harborfest 2013
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All photographs Copyright © 2013 Jon R. Vermilye

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The Oswego Harborfest is an annual event that draws well over 100,000 people to the Lake Ontario waterfront community for 4 day festival. There are entertainment stages located throughout the city, as well as many other programs & presentations, food booths, a midway with rides, and a 23 minute "Fireworks by Grucci" show on Saturday night presented by Entergy. Check the schedule of events at the Harborfest Home page.

I took a few photos of the booths & rides being set up on Wednesday: Photos for Wednesday, July 24

Thursday, July 25

Building Puppets

Building Puppets

More Photos from Thursday, July 25

Thursday was the official opening of Harborfest. It wasn't all that crowded in the morning, but kids were building puppets in the dining tent at Breitbeck so I got a few photos of them. The "Disc-Connected K9’s – World Famous Frisbee Dogs" were rehearsing for their 4:15 show & I took far to many photos of them. The dogs look like they are having a great time! While there was only one tarp down reserving space for the fireworks (You are not allowed to put them down until Saturday morning) by evening there were a bunch of them. I hope I can squeeze in a space to shoot. They are usually some of the best fireworks I've seen.

After a break at home, I went back for dinner. The crowds have gathered, and the various booths are getting busy. I'm not sure exactly what was going on in the Geico booth, but I won a hat & got a photo of a Wrestler posing in his. The first Breitbeck stage act was the 42nd Infantry Band. They were excellent.

After a Gyro for diner, I headed down to the amusement rides & booths for some "action" photos.

Friday, July 26

Typhoon Tommy Jet Ski Show

Typhoon Tommy Jet Ski Show

More photos from Friday, July 26

Friday was another beautiful day at Oswego. Lots of things going on all over the city. I checked out more of the booths, saw the Fritz Polka Band, kids getting face painting, and the Typhoon Tommy Jet Ski Show. Lots of jumps, dives, and mid air flips. They also had something I've never seen before - a guy riding 20' in the air on jets of water. I wandered down to the Maritime Museum to watch the OMF Ontario return from a sail on the lake. The Ontario is a steel copy of a traditional 1850 Lake Schooner built by volunteers. She is 50' long with mast height of 70', and can carry 49 passengers & crew. There was another "tall" ship heading back to Canada.

After dinner I returned to the park, put down my tarp (a little early, but by dinner time they were all over the place and it saves coming back to the park at midnight). Everything was much more crowded, including the wine booths. Avalanche, a rocking section of the US Army Band was playing a set when I got back to the park. They were very good. After them, it was Foghat. I got a couple of photos of them posing with the members of the army band & getting ready to go on stage. A very large crowd was ready for the night's entertainment.

As the sun was setting I wandered down through the boat basin, and through the amusement area. Lots of screams from the rides. After that it was home to post tonight's page.


Saturday, July 27

Fireworks, Harborfest 2013
Fireworks, Harborfest 2013

More photos from Saturday, July 27, and the Fireworks

Unfortunately, while Friday was beautiful, Saturday was not. It started out OK, but as the day went on the clouds moved in, and by late afternoon, the rain. It rained off & on throughout the evening, with a fairly steady light rain during the fireworks. The view from my tarp, at least before the rain was beautiful:

Oswego Harbor
Oswego Harbor

If anyone wants a large version of the harbor image (and has a fast connection - it is a 16MB file), Click here. In the large image you can see the groups of fireworks mortars stationed along the breakwall. A few hours before the performance they tow a couple of barges from the East side of the harbor with many more preloaded mortars.

During the early afternoon before the rain, I wandered over to East Park & took some photos and listened to some of the jazz. On the way back the "Flying Platform" was going again with members of the jet ski team all taking turns flying. I got a couple of close up photos. It looks like they divert most of the output of the jet ski through a fire hose attached to the nozzles on the platform. The rider has some directional control by tilting the nozzles with his or her feet, but the height is controlled by the throttle of the attached jet ski driver. A rider has to stay on good terms with the jet ski driver or become a submarine! I also took a few photos of the group playing at the Veteran's Stage.


I sat out the first batch of rain reading in my car, then headed back to Breitbeck Park around 6:00 for a dinner of a Garafolo's sausage sandwich. Went back to my tarp on the hill, poured to water off the tarp & dug my chair out from under it. I was lucky enough to be able to eat my dinner before the second (and permanent) batch of rain arrived. After that is was trying to squeeze me & my tripod under a too small umbrella. We all sat huddled under umbrellas or what ever anyone could find. Once the fireworks started I had to dump the umbrella, and the results produced flare on many images from raindrops on my camera lens. Since the ground (and tarps) were wet, a number of people stood, which means I got great photos of the backs of their heads!

Still, a huge crowd, as usual. After the fireworks it was a wet hike back to the Maritime Museum parking lot & my car, then a 45 minute 1/2 mile drive through the city to head home.


This page is maintained by: vermilye@oswego.edu
Last Update: July 29, 2013