By LISA HOOVER
POTSDAM -- The Potsdam Summer Festival is far from over, with Outer Market Mania, the rubber ducky pluck, lots of live music, the car show, and the “run to the river” still to come Friday and Saturday.
This marks the 46th time the summer festival has taken over downtown Potsdam. “Pretty soon we’ll be hitting the 50th,” said Marylee Ballou, executive director of the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. The chamber hopes to have “something big” for the 50th festival, “but we still have lots of time to plan,” she said.
The festival will again feature live entertainment throughout each day and into the evening. Featured performers will include the Potsdam Community Band, Ten Cent Green, The Naz Worship Band, Cheyanna LaPage, Ben Todd, The Debt, The Acoustic Brothers and Ed Trainor. Other performers will include Christian Parker, Mike Welch, A Fine Line, KT Experience, Church & State and Mary Ann Casale and Andy Van Duyne. For schedules, see the Calendar pages or the Potsdam Summer Festival insert in this week’s paper. The North Country Idol performers will appear Saturday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Ives Park.
The popular classic car show will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Ives Park Saturday. Cars must be at least 25 years old to participate. The annual Arts & Crafts Fair will also take place in Ives Park.
As is tradition, many Potsdam businesses will be offering sidewalk sales and vendors and nonprofits will set up in the blocked off section of Market Street.
The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, with a new route planned this year. This year’s route will run from Clarkson Avenue onto Maple Street, up Main Street and finish on the downtown Clarkson campus. “We wanted to try a new route that would allow traffic to continue on route 11,” Ballou said.
Outer Market Mania takes place in the Save-A-Lot parking lot on Outer Market Street Friday from noon to 5 p.m. It will feature an expanded “Touch-A-Truck,” including a fire truck, payloader and deliver truck, for kids to explore along with games and activities.
A ring toss, fishing game, bike rodeo and cup stacking will be offered. Dance groups will provide entertainment and Cubby T. Clown and Friends will make an appearance.
The rubber ducky pluck, with a $500 grand prize, will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. in Ives Park sponsored by the Potsdam Rotary Club.
Stephen Gratto will share his comedy routine Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Ives Park Gazebo. Gratto’s routine often includes juggling, unicycling, rope walking and stilt walking. Gratto’s routine is “kind of a comedy, variety type show,” almost like a jester, according to Ballou.
The Potsdam Elks will once again offer inflatable rides Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Elks will also host a concession stand.
Trinity Café, the Elks lodge, First Crush, The Hop, Josie’s Maxfield’s, The Bagelry, Sergi’s Jreck Subs, Scoops and Little Italy will all offer food.
The Potsdam Fire Department will continue the traditional “run to the river” Saturday at 7 p.m. and the police department will hold an auction Saturday at 9 a.m. The police department will also host a “bike rodeo” Friday from noon to 4 p.m. The rodeo will allow bicyclists to practice skills to avoid accidents and will include a limited helmet giveaway.
The St. Lawrence County Arts Council’s community painting project will continue Friday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday until 4 p.m. Each participant will paint a small canvas to be included in a large North Country scene.
Another new highlight this year will be the festival’s commemorative pins, to be sold at the chamber’s booth. The pin is shaped like a half a guitar, according to Ballou. “Hopefully it will start a new tradition,” she said. The chamber plans for the shape of the pins to change each year. “I don’t believe we have ever done a pin before,” she said, although the chamber has offered commemorative hats and T-shirts in the past. “We thought that coming up on the 50th year it was a good time to try something different.”
The downtown section of Market Street will reopen late Saturday night, after 11 p.m., according to Ballou.