MASSENA — A free concert has been added to the activities taking place during the Fishing League Worldwide Costa series fishing tournament from Sept. 19 to 21 in Massena.
Fleetwood Mac Mania, a group that’s been described as North America’s top Fleetwood Mac tribute band, will be performing at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Massena Town Beach. There also will be a bonfire on the beach, and fireworks will light up the night sky after dark.
This is the first year for the FLW Costa series in Massena. Anglers will arrive and check in on Sept. 18 at the St. Lawrence Centre mall.
The tournament begins with a 7 a.m. official take-off from the Massena Intake on Sept. 19 and ends with the final weigh-in at 3 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Massena Town Beach. Weigh-ins will take place in 15-minute intervals on all three days starting at 3 p.m. for each flight.
In between the fishing, families can enjoy a variety of activities, including the concert, bonfire, fireworks, kids fishing tournament and activities at the St. Lawrence Centre mall.
“We’ve been working hard to make sure it’s not just your ordinary tournament. It won’t just be the fishermen. We have fireworks, the band and the bonfire to attract everybody. (Recreation Director) Mike McCabe has worked well with us for the Massena beach. We’re going to stage different events there,” Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy said.
Don Meissner, Linda McQuinn and Town Councilman Thomas C. Miller have been the impetus behind bringing the tournament and all of the related activities to Massena, he said.
(FLW officials) have been excited ever since we signed up last year. They knew what the potential was here. Thank goodness we have Don Meissner, Linda and Tom Miller,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said.
The St. Lawrence Centre mall is also getting in on the fun with two days of expo activities.
“We think the St. Lawrence Centre has a lot to offer. We are trying to draw excitement to that area,” he said.
Among the activities that will be taking place at the mall are a junior archery tournament, laser tag, kids’ fishing pond and vendors from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 20, and axe throwing, junior archery tournament, laser tag, kids’ fishing pond and vendors from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 21.
Mall General Manager Erica Leonard said she is friends with Mr. Meissner and Mr. Miller and expressed an interest in being part of the activities.
“I’m a huge proponent of tourism in the north country,” she said.
Ms. Leonard said she also helped coordinate the beach events.
“There’s going to be a bonfire, food trucks and beer out there where the band is playing, and fireworks afterward,” she said. “There are things for everybody. I think between the two places, it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s a few days of events people can come to and enjoy.”
Also on the schedule is a kids’ fishing tournament for ages 5 to 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Wilson Hill causeway. Mr. Meissner, the town of Massena’s tourism promoter, said that as of Tuesday, 163 youngsters had signed up.
“Every kid is getting a rod and reel for free,” he said.
In addition, five fish will be tagged in the river, and the first youngster to catch a tagged fish will win $500 in cash. The young angler who catches the second tagged fish will win $400, third will win $300, fourth will win $200, and fifth will win $100. Only tagged fish apply for prizes.
Mr. Meissner said staff and members of the Clarkson University fishing team will be on hand to help kids bait their hooks and cast their lines. Family members will also be involved.
“Our intention is to get the families involved, have them see what’s available here. It gets the families involved in the community in the way they might not otherwise,” he said. “Linda and I plus volunteers spent the whole day at Fort Drum Family Day. A lot of families from Fort Drum will be bringing their kids up here.”
Mr. Meissner said the tournament is designed to do more than bring anglers into town. It’s to show what the town offers to attract people to the area.
“This isn’t just for the sake of having it. It’s to further promote the reputation of Massena as the center of this outdoor activity,” he said.