Harborfest History

Come experience the Sights, the Sounds & More!

For the past 25 years Harborfest has brought exciting events and great entertainment to Central New York. During that time, Harborfest grew from a small local festival to a major regional event by bringing national performance acts and the ever-popular fireworks show to more than 250,000 people to the City of Oswego.

Over the past two decades, the festival has collected its share of awards and recognitions, including more than 10 International Festival and Event Association Awards for excellence. Harborfest was named a “Top 100 Event in North America” by the prestigious American Bus Association on five seperate occasions, including for 2010 and was voted the most popular festival in Central New York by viewers of WSTM-TV3. In 2007, the Saturday night fireworks was voted the best “local fireworks” by readers of the Syracuse New Times.  Furthermore, in 2008, Harborfest was voted number eight on www.fireworksguide.com.  Of course the best recognition is the smiles on the faces of folks who come to the festival to enjoy their summertime holidays with us.

The Sights…

“Awesome” doesn’t quite describe the festival’s world-class music choreographed Entergy Nuclear Northeast Fireworks Spectacular, one of only seven such continuous presentations in the Northeast. It’s an annual Saturday night Harborfest event that brings more than 100,000 spectators.

The Sounds…

Harborfest’s traditional Friday night feature concert has spotlighted a “who’s who” list of popular national recording artists and 2011 was no different as Constellation Energy Nuclear Group presented the Barenaked Ladies on the NRG Lakeview Stage. Past performers have included The Drifters, America, Kenney Chesney, Blood Sweat and Tears, Eddie Money, Three Dog Night, KC & The Sunshine Band, Arturo Sandoval, Wilson Pickett, Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers, Al Jardine & The Beach Boy All Stars, The Guess Who, America, .38 Special and many more.  In 2013 for the first time at Harborfest, there will be two national acts on the same night as Foghat opens up for Blue Oyster Cult.

And More…

childrens-parade4 For young families, Harborfest provides activities and entertainment for children at its popular Children’s Stage and Children’s Activity Area located at the Novelis Family Park at Franklin Square which has a convenient Trolley Stop at West Third and west Seneca Streets. The Children’s Stage features entertainment carefully chosen to inform, entertain and educate youngsters. The Harborfest Children’s Activity Area features supervised arts and crafts activities for young boys and girls. In addition, children have the opportunity to design their own costumes and march in the Harborfest Children’s Parade, on  Friday of the festival.  This annual tradition is tied to the yearly in-school cultural component.


JAC Products

For serious shoppers, there’s plenty to do at Harborfest. Enjoy walking along the scenic park areas flanking the Oswego River as you browse and shop at theJuried Arts and Crafts area. The hand-made items offered for sale meet the highest standards for quality and innovation. Shop at East Park and the Historic Maritime District where you’ll find manufactured merchandise to fit any size budget.

For those who enjoy the fun of amusement rides, the Harborfest Midway offers an exciting array of games and rides from the traditional carousel, bumper cars and Ferris wheel to the latest technological marvels in a traditional American midway setting.

Navigating the Festival…

Getting around Harborfest is easy. Within the programming area a Harborfest Trolley will take you from one venue to another.

HarborfestFor those who plan to arrive by boat, there are several local marinas that can accommodate vessels of all sizes.

When you come to Harborfest you’re going to enjoy one of the premier festivals in the Northeast. Harborfest has earned 10 International Festival and Events Association Awards, has been named an American Bus Association Top 100 North American Event five times including for 2010 and was voted as the “Best Festival in Central New York” in a poll conducted by WSTM-TV3, a major regional television broadcast station.


– Harborfest Dates –
2013 – July 25-28

2014 – July 24-27

(Harborfest is ALWAYS scheduled for the last full weekend in July)

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