Massena proposing festivals to draw tourists

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 2:57 PM EDT
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TOWN OF MASSENA, New York (WWNY) - The town of Massena is making efforts to become a tourist destination along the St. Lawrence River by possibly creating new festivals to gather more traffic and a positive view of the community.

“I think Massena, it got lost that Massena is actually a great place to live and to raise a family,” said Jason Hendricks, a lifelong resident of Massena.

As the town’s digital brand manager, he wants to attract more tourists there and make it a thriving community.

“I think over time, I do think we’re going to eventually get back to that. You know, maybe become a tourism hotspot,” he said.

In order for Massena to become a more engaging community, Hendricks presented ideas for two festivals at a recent town board meeting.

One festival would be the “Rockin’ the River” which held its inaugural event last year.

According to Hendricks, the Rockin’ the River festival was a huge success.

More than 3,000 people showed up to celebrate the Major League Fishing tournament. Now Hendricks hopes that he gets twice as many people this year.

“The fishing kind of gives that recognition to and gets some eyes on us. Now we have to take the eyes that are on us and expand that to even further out to where we’re more than just fishing,” he said.

Another festival would be a Fall Foliage Fun Ride, an event along the St. Lawrence River where families could ride bikes and enjoy the fall colors.

Village Mayor Greg Paquin says that the success of the fishing tournaments and festivals has brought the community closer together, something he feels Massena has missed in recent years.

“Over the past decade and such, I remember times when we would have the firemen’s field days and other activities throughout. I think this is doing a nice job of bringing that feeling of community back and I hope that’s something that everyone gets to experience,” he said.