50th Potsdam Summerfest kicks off Thursday with variety of events over four days, including fireworks show
Monday, July 10, 2017 - 5:30 pm


POTSDAM -- The 50th Potsdam Summer Festival will be held from July 13-16 at various locations around downtown, and organizers expect record numbers of attendees.

This year’s event will feature music, races, ice cream, food, movies, food, book fair, lawnmower races, pageants, Touch-A-Truck, fireworks at dusk in Ives Park, garage sales, book sale, book fair, kayaking, car show in Ives Park, craft show, semi-pro football, Run to the River, Dock Dogs, inflatables and Laser Tag.

“What’s new and different? Of course, the fireworks for the celebration of the 50th. But it's starting to look like it's going to become a permanent thing,” said Potsdam Chamber of Commerce director Marylee E. Ballou.

The fireworks will be launched from the Clarkson side of the river, Ballou said, and will be easily viewed from Fall Island and Ives Park.

The director said the events on Outer Market and in the downtown business district this year will feature more activities along with the popular draws from past festivals.

“Some of the things are just bigger and better. We expect record numbers in the park on Saturday,” said Ballou.

The festival which draws thousands of visitors throughout the weekend will center around Market Street and Ives Park, but other events will be staged at the Elk’s Lodge on Elm Street, the Big Lots Plaza on Outer Market, the Pine Street Arena, Potsdam School and along Main Street.

Ballou said many area natives who have relocated away from the community time their visits home to Potsdam around Summer Festival. “I start getting calls in January,” she said.

The chamber director emphasized that the festival is definitely a family event and a time when local community members reunite with one another.

Organizing an event of that size requires a good deal of leg work, volunteers and detailed grid maps organizing the many festival participants.

“After the main stage music gets scheduled, the biggest hurdle is finding space for the vendors,” Ballou said. The director was still receiving visitors and taking calls this past week, finalizing places for the wide variety of vendors expected, some even from out-of-state.

“The festival in 50 years has grown to what it is now, and to start off the 51st year, we will be looking at where we can expand it,” she said.

Ballou said this year is notable not only for the 50th year of the festival, but also of for Sergie’s Restaurant’s 50th anniversary, the Potsdam Fire Departments 160 years of operation and the rescue squad’s long tenure in the community as well.

All Summer Festival activities will take place rain or shine, said the director.

“The only thing that will really stop things at the Summer Festival would be thunderstorms,” said Ballou. And, even then, vendors and personnel running activities at the event are told to seek shelter until the storm blows over and then resume operations as soon as the lightning clears.

Each event or activity is listed in North Country Now’s 7-day calendar. A listing of events and more details can be found in special section being circulated with the print edition of North Country This Week.

The complete schedule is as follows.

Thursday, July 13

On the Potsdam Chamber & Donaldson Seymour Funeral Home on Market Street:

• 2-3 p.m. -- Sweet Adelines

• 3-4 p.m. -- 95.3 The Wolf country showdown competition

• 4-5 p.m. -- Margarita Mike’s Blue Moon Cafe

• 5-6 p.m. -- New Horizons Swing Band

• 6-7 p.m. -- Microburst

• 7-8 p.m. -- Bill Melchoir & Rebecca Branchau

• 8-10 p.m. -- Six Foot Midget.

Throughout Potsdam:

• Noon-6 p.m. -- Scholastic Book Fair inside Chilly Delight

• 11 a.m. -- Potsdam Elks Chicken BBQ, 10 Elm St.

• 6 p.m. -- Tour de Potsdam (walk 6 p.m., run 6:30 p.m.), Waverly Street.

At the Gazebo and in Ives Park:

• 6:30-8 p.m. -- Ice Cream Social, Norwood Brass Firemen

• 8:30-10 p.m. -- Outdoor movie, “Secret Life of Pets.”

Friday, July 14

On Potsdam Chamber & Donaldson Seymour Funeral Home on Market Street:

• 10-11 a.m. -- Jacque Kuno

• 11 a.m.-Noon -- Ed Trainor

• Noon-1 p.m. -- Chipman Jazz All Stars

• 1-2 p.m. -- Echoes in Black

• 2-3 p.m. -- Citizen Jack

• 3-4 p.m. -- St. Lawrence Centre Line Dancers

• 4-5 p.m. -- Big Papa & The Escape Key Band

• 5-6 p.m. -- Christian Parker

• 6-7 p.m. -- Jeff Stein

• 7-9 p.m. -- Shawn Stoddard and the Backwater Blues Band

• 9-11 p.m. – KTX.

Throughout Potsdam:

• 8 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Rescue Squad Garage Sale at the RS Building

• 10 a.m.-6 p.m. -- Scholastic Book Fair inside Chilly Delight

• 10 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Book sale, Civic Center Basement

• 10 a.m.-8 p.m. -- Kids Inflatables, Potsdam Elks, 10 Elm St.

• 11 a.m.-3 p.m. -- Outer Market Mania, Touch A Truck, Big Lots Plaza

• Noon-1:30 p.m. -- Cubby T. Clown and Friends, Big Lots Plaza

• 4 p.m. -- Lawnmower races, Pine St. Arena field

• 9:30 p.m. -- Fireworks viewed in Ives Park.

At the Gazebo and in Ives Park:

• 6-7:30 p.m. -- Potsdam Community Band.

Saturday, July 15


At the Gazebo and in Ives Park:

• 9-10 a.m. -- Family Yoga, with Trillium Center

• 9 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Craft Show, vendors, Ives Park

• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. -- Car Show, south end of Ives Park

• 10 a.m.-2 p.m. -- Kayak experience, Ives Park boat launch

• 11 a.m.-noon -- New Horizons Band

• 12:30-1:15 p.m. -- Jack Kelley Little Big Band

• 1:15-2 p.m. --Matt Bullwinkle

• 2:15-3 p.m. --Veils of the Nile.

On Downtown Market Street: Potsdam Chamber & Donaldson Seymour Funeral Home

• 10-11 a.m. -- Animal Crackers

• 11 a.m.-noon -- Sapp Martial Arts Demo

• Noon-1 p.m. -- Sunday Rock Legacy

• 1-2 p.m. -- Musical Way Academy

• 2-3 p.m. -- Mary Casale & Taz Cru

• 3-4 p.m. -- TBD-sponsored by Sergi’s

• 4-5:15 p.m. -- The Noncommittals

• 5:30-6 p.m. -- Runway Hair Show

• 6:15-6:45 p.m. -- Fireman’s Review

• 7:15-9 p.m. -- Ten Speed Taxi

• 9-11 p.m. – Northbound.

Throughout Potsdam:

• 8 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Rescue Squad Garage Sale, RS Building

• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. -- ONNY Junque Sale, Pine Street Arena

• 9 a.m.-2 p.m. -- Farmer’s Market, end of Main Street parking lot

• 10 a.m.-6 p.m. -- Scholastic Book Fair inside Chilly Delight.

• 10 a.m.-3 p.m. -- Book signing, University Bookstore - Dale Healey

• 10 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Book sale, Civic Center Basement

• 10 a.m.-8 p.m. -- Kids Inflatables, Potsdam Elks, 10 Elm St.

• 10 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Dock Dogs, Potsdam Agway, Pine Street.

• 2:30 p.m. -- Rotary Duck Pluck, winners picked in Ives Park.

• 7-7:15 p.m. -- RUN TO THE RIVER

• 7 p.m. -- North Country Tigers Semi Pro Football game, PHS turf field, $5, vs. Henrietta-Westside Spartans

• 3-5, 7:15-10 p.m. -- Laser Tag, behind the Clarkson Inn.


Sunday, July 16

• 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. -- Dock Dogs, Potsdam Agway,Pine Street.

• Dusk -- Rain date for outdoor movie if needed.