WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Picture July in Ogdensburg without the annual Seaway Festival and its parade and carnival rides. Organizers can’t imagine that.
“We don't want to cancel because everybody looks forward to the Seaway Festival. It's part of our life for the last 60 years,” said Laurel Roethel, Seaway Festival co-chair.
If New York reopens for festivals of any kind, it will happen, but it will be downsized. Battle of the Bands – no way. But the parade and other events – possibly, but different.
“We're going to obviously try to put on the best event we can with the cards we're dealt,” said Roethel.
The festival usually runs from one weekend to the next as July winds down. This year? Probably just one weekend. And of course orders from on high could be the final determinant.
“We anxiously look at what the president says, what the governor says we're able to do as far as congregations, getting together, how many people,” said Roethel.
Any continued closure of the Canadian-U.S. border would also hurt. The fest bills itself as the nation's longest continuous running bi-national festival.
Seaway Fest is like so much else these days. Who really knows? But organizers are working just as hard as ever, maybe even harder, to make sure that Ogdensburg's greatest show returns in July.
Battle of the Bands will be missed. It's the festival's biggest single fundraiser.
But expect to see T-shirts being sold. And the carnival rides? They’re talking to one prospect right now.