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July 1, 2005

Harborfest Events Attract Over 300,000

OSWEGO-The 18th edition of Oswego's Harborfest, July 28-31, features over 100 choices of admission-free entertainment including nationally-known recording artists, a world-class fireworks spectacular, and air show.

New in 2005, Fort Ontario State Historic Site will have additional events and activities. The "Pride of New York Wine Tasting Farmer's Market" will offer tourists the opportunity to sample some of New York's finest wineries as well as other agricultural products. The "AARP Magazine Road Trip Tour" will include massage therapy sessions, health screenings, cooking and floral demonstrations, plus giveaways.

If you've ever wanted to throw a boomerang, you can learn how during the U.S. Boomerang Roundup Team demonstrations. Boomerang lessons are in keeping with this year's Harborfest's cultural theme of Australia.

In addition to these new activities, Fort Ontario Park will have two large stages including the Sithe Family Stage hosting some of the best blues and jazz performers regionally and nationally. The other Fort stage will feature big band sounds.

Last year, over 300,000 visitors attended the three day event, which generates more than $15 million to the Oswego County economy.

The opening night of the festival, Thursday, July 28 features Get the Led Out, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, sponsored by Novelis Corporation. Friday, July 29 is the first full day of the festival.

Friday's featured events include the annual Children's Parade at noon. The parade begins at Franklin Park and travels to Breitbeck Park, offering children the opportunity to dress up and celebrate the music and folklore of Australia. Joey Thomas's Big Band "American Songbook Show" performs at 1:30 p.m. at Fort Ontario Park. The 1960's classic Canadian rock group, The Guess Who, credited with 14 top 40 hits including "American Woman" and "Shaking All Over," performs at 9 p.m. in Breitbeck Park, sponsored by Constellation Energy.

On Saturday evening, July 30, more than 100,000 people are expected to attend the world-class fireworks spectacular that is choreographed to music, sponsored by Entergy Nuclear. "Fireworks by Grucci," known for their complex and stunning displays, will again produce Harborfest's show. It is one of only seven shows Grucci produces annually in the Northeast.

Sunday July 31, from 1- 5 p.m., is the admission-free air show, sponsored by Novelis Corporation. The air show's second year will feature civilian precision and civilian aerobatic aircraft as well as military aircraft demonstrations.

Military aircraft and demonstration units include the Viper West Team flying the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," an historic P-51 Mustang of World War Two fame and the U.S. Army "Golden Knights" Parachute Team.

A favorite among fairgoers is the Juried Arts and Crafts area along River Walk East, open throughout the festival. Approximately 100 juried vendors will sell a variety of hand-made crafts. Additional shopping during Harborfest can be found at the Marketplace on River Walk West.

The Heritage Foundation of Oswego County's annual Antiques Show and Sale, held during Harborfest weekend will be held in a new location, at the Elks Lodge on W. Fifth Street and W. Bridge Street. Daily admission to the three day show is $3.00.

Harborfest has been named an American Bus Association Top 100 Event in North America for 2005, attracting bus tours from central, eastern and western New York. The festival has also earned nine International Festivals and Events Association Pinnacle awards for excellence. For more information log onto www.oswegoharborfest.com or contact Harborfest at 41 Lake Street, Oswego, NY 13126, phone (315) 343-6858.

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