Mayor Billy Barlow announced today the cancellation of the City of Oswego 4th of July Independence Day Parade that was scheduled for Sunday, July 5th. Mayor Barlow said the firework display at 9:45pm on Sunday, July 5th would still be held, but would be relocated to launch from the pedestrian railroad bridge to allow for more accessible viewing locations and to maintain proper social distancing.
Executive Director Peter Myles announced today that the Harborfest Board of Directors decided to cancel Oswego Harborfest 2020 which was scheduled to take place July 23 through July 26 because of concerns about Covid-19. This would have been the 33rd annual festival.
For the past several weeks the board has been evaluating information from state and local officials, as well as the financial feasibility of holding the festival using a reduced number of venues. Given all the information obtained, they made their decision to cancel this year’s festival in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Board members thought that it would be nearly impossible to maintain social distancing and safety protocols at the event, which draws approximately 75,000 people over the four days and offers a number of music performances, attractions, a wide variety of vendors and a spectacular fireworks display.
The Harborfest Board of Directors share a feeling of disappointment in cancelling this year’s festival. It is very apparent that this decision is the responsible choice for the festival as they do their part to support community health and safety and to minimize the spread of Covid-19.
Mayor Barlow said, “We are disappointed that the Independence Day Parade and Harborfest 2020 are cancelled. In addition to COVID-19, our Wright’s Landing Marina and waterfront area is currently under construction, creating an unsafe environment as well as we invest approximately $15 million to improve our waterfront. While this was certainly a difficult decision, I believe it is in the best interest of public health and public safety to cancel the event and also allows our construction projects to continue making progress. I thank Executive Director Peter Myles and the Harborfest Board of Directors for working with the City of Oswego as we made this decision together and I look forward to working with them over the next 12 months to explore ways to bring Harborfest back stronger in 2021.”