May 22, 2013
OSWEGO - Paddlers of all ages and abilities have a chance to paddle the locks from Minetto to Oswego Saturday, June 29, in the 'Rock the Locks' Oswego Paddlefest. The river paddling event is a community fundraiser to benefit the Oswego YMCA Strong Kids campaign and Oswego Harborfest, and encourages kayakers, canoeists and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the unique beauty of the historic Oswego River.
The recreational event is organized by several local businesses and organizations, including the Oswego County Yakkers, Oswego YMCA and Harborfest. Oswego County Legislator Jacob Mulcahey, District 15, Oswego, is chairman of the steering committee.
Canoes and kayaks will leave from Riverview Park in Minetto at 10 a.m. June 29, and paddle four miles north to the boat launch under Bridge Street at Lock 8 in the Port City, traversing through four locks along the way. At nearby Lock 7, Paddlefest festivities will include local food and commercial vendors, live music, children's games, fundraisers and other activities for the enjoyment of the public and paddlers alike.
"The Oswego River is a beautiful spot for paddling and I have always thought it would be a perfect venue for a paddlefest," said Mulcahey. "We hope to make it an annual event. We're working with a number of organizations, including the Y, Harborfest and the Oswego County Yakkers paddling club to organize the event. Paddlers can enjoy the experience of going through the locks together, and spectators and visitors will have a chance to enjoy food and music at the ending point. There will be refreshments, games for kids, and a chance to win a kayak, paddle, and personal flotation device. The funds raised will be put back into the community to help out the Oswego YMCA and Harborfest."
Harborfest will hold a $1 floating "buck-a-ball" drawing in the river near Lock 7 at 3 p.m. Tickets for the "buck-a-ball" and a Harborfest 50-50 drawing may be purchased at Paddlefest and at the Harborfest office, 41 Lake St., Oswego.
Pre-registration is $25 for canoes and $20 for kayaks, and includes a chicken barbecue meal. Additional meal tickets may be purchased. A free shuttle bus will take paddlers from the ending point back to Minetto where they can pick up their vehicles when the event is over. All paddlers will be entered into the drawing for a kayak, paddle and pfd. Tickets for the kayak drawing will also be available at Paddlefest on June 29.
Paddlers may pre-register online at www.ezracereg.com or register beginning at 8 a.m. June 29 at Riverview Park in Minetto. Registration on June 29 will be $30 per canoe and $25 per kayak.
A French and Indian War re-enactment is taking place at nearby historic Fort Ontario Saturday, June 29, and paddlers and spectators are encouraged to make a day of it and enjoy both events which celebrate Oswego's colorful heritage and waterfront.
'The excitement of the Oswego Paddlefest can be credited to the fact that it's something new, something showcasing the beautiful Oswego River, and most importantly something the greater Oswego community is putting on, Oswego-style," said Mulcahey.
Rock the Locks Oswego Paddlefest is sponsored by Oswego Harborfest and the Oswego YMCA with support from the NYS Canal Corporation, Town of Minetto, City of Oswego, Murdock Sports, Fitzgibbons Insurance, Oswego County Sheriff's Office, Oswego County Yakkers, and Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
For more information call the YMCA at 315-343-1981 or go to www.ezracereg.com, or contact Oswego Harborfest, phone 315-343-6858.
Questions about the Oswego County Public Information Office?