OGDENSBURG — In past years, when Ogdensburg International Seaway Festival Chairman Chris Cole would drive the length of Ford Street prior to its popular parade and see thousands of people lined up to see the floats, bands and entertainment he would have a single thought — “We did a good job.”
Cole, along with the Seaway Festival Committee, is working on making that come true for the 2021 version as events begin this weekend to kick off the 60th annual event.
Seaway Festival was obviously canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the committee decided upon a fitting theme for the festival in 2020 — “Let’s Beat The COVID Blues!”
“Last year should have been our 60th. Obviously, it didn’t happen so this year is our 60th,” said Cole. “Just like our theme says we are getting out of a rut. We are going get active again and getting our community moving.”
Cole said that Seaway Festival is a 100% volunteer program that is geared for a homecoming type event that brings families and friends together.
Longtime Seaway Festival volunteer Laurel Lee Roethel agrees.
“Seaway Festival is about family and community and doing things the way they were done before,” she said. “To repeat some history is good and Seaway Festival has 60 years of history.”
Cole also feels that it serves another purposes as well.
“It creates a positive economic stimulus to the area which we need desperately need,” said Cole, adding, “It gets our kids out and there is a lot of stuff to with our kids instead of staying home on our computers all day long.”
When asked why people should attend, Roethel said that the fireworks show on July 30 will be one to remember.
“It will be the biggest fireworks that Ogdensburg has ever seen this year,” she said.
The following is the Seaway Festival schedule:
Saturday, July 24: Canoe race at the Heuvelton Boat Launch at 9 a.m.; kid’s fishing derby in the Greenbelt from 9:30 to 11 a.m.; Wine, Arts & Craft Show at Lockwood Arena from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; ; and Concert in the Park: Moura from 6 to 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 25: Oswegatchie Golf Challenge at Trafalgar Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wine, Arts & Craft Show at Lockwood Arena from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Cornhole tournament at the Moose Lodge at 1 p.m.; Fred’s Wild West BBQ at Frederic Remington Art Museum from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.; and Concert in the Park: KANE from 6 to 8 p.m.
Monday, July 26: Ogdensburg Dance Center at the main stage in the Greenbelt from 6 to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 27: Ogdensburg’s Got Talent at the main stage beginning at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, July 28: 5K Run/Walk at the Dobisky Visitors’ Center at 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 29: Remington Museum Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Concert in the Park: Bandroom Band at Library Park from 6 to 8 p.m.
Friday, July 30: Concert in the Park: My So-Called Band at Library Park from 7 to 9:45 p.m.; and fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
Saturday, July 31: Ford Street Parade beginning at 11 a.m.; and Concert in the Park: Atom Ghost from 3 to 5 p.m.
Aug. 1: Duck Race at Ogdensburg City Pool at 11 a.m.; Sunday in the Park at Dobisky Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 60th Seaway Festival Car Display in the Greenbelt area from noon to 4 p.m.; and Concert in the Park: Underwater Bosses in Library Park from noon to 4 p.m.