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July 24, 2014

The British Are Coming To Harborfest!

OSWEGO - Come to Oswego's historic harbor to witness a re-enactment of the Battle of Oswego during the 27th annual Harborfest. The action begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 26.

"We will have a few ships and a gunboat in the harbor, including Oswego's own OMF Ontario, engaging with Fort Ontario to re-create this event," said Steve Fulton, director of Oswego's Harborfest. "There will be action from the east breakwall to the west bluff, so people can line up anywhere along to harbor to watch the battle." This re-enactment is planned to commemorate the bicentennial of the Battle of Oswego, which was fought on May 5 and 6, 1814 during the War of 1812.

"This area was a major theatre of action at that time," said Paul Lear, superintendent of the Fort Ontario State Historic Site and chairman of the Oswego War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee. "The leading military strategy was that whoever controlled the lake also controlled the war, so this post was very important to both American and British interests."

The mock battle begins with an engagement between the tall ships and the fort, re-creating the amphibious British assault on this American stronghold. The action continues as devoted re-enactors carry on through the post cemetery, across the parade grounds and ramparts, and concludes with the capture of the American flag. This event is sponsored by the Port of Oswego Authority with additional support provided by the Friends of Fort Ontario and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The OMF Ontario is made available by the H. Lee White Marine Museum.

This generous sponsorship allows Harborfest to invite all fest-goers to enjoy free viewing of the ships at West Pier on the north end of W. 1st St. Visiting hours for the ships will be from 10 am. to noon and 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, July 25; from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 26; and from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, July 27. For a complete list of Harborfest attractions and activities, go to www.oswegoharborfest.com. For more information about the Battle of Oswego and Fort Ontario State Historic Site, visit www.fortontario.com.

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