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47th annual Potsdam Summer Festival kicks off today

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POTSDAM — Beginning today, the sounds of summer tunes will be echoing throughout Potsdam, countless dining options will be available for customers and a weekend full of games and activities will commence in the municipality.

The 47th annual Potsdam Summer Festival starts at noon today and will feature family-friendly entertainment throughout the weekend.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marylee E. Ballou said there were some last-minute minor changes Wednesday, but everything is coming together smoothly.

“I’ve had some switching on our main stage schedule,” Ms. Ballou said. “On Thursday, from 3 to 4 p.m. King Kong will be playing. It’s a duo that plays guitar/blues/rock music. On Friday from 2 to 3 p.m., the Concessionaires will be performing, and they play ’60s/’70s music. This is just a swap because of conflicts with another group. It was easy to do that flip.”

Ms. Ballou said Saturday’s craft show, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be full of vendors, as will the street vendor stations.

While the festival always includes a parade on Saturday, this year’s version will include a specified theme for the first time, “Fun in the Sun.” The parade starts on Clarkson Avenue, goes down Maple Street and up Main Street and concludes at Old Snell Hall.

Potsdam and the surrounding communities were hit by a nasty thunderstorm Tuesday night, but Ms. Ballou sees the severe weather as somewhat of a blessing in disguise.

“I think I was the only one who liked that the storm happened Tuesday night and not this weekend. Our forecast is looking great this weekend and should be perfect for us,” Ms. Ballou said.

Events in the festival today include:

Vendors, concessions from noon to 8 p.m. throughout Potsdam.

A chicken barbecue from 11 a.m. until gone at Potsdam Elks, 10 Elm St.

Tour de Potsdam, Waverly Street, 5 to 7 p.m., sponsored by the St. Lawrence Health Initiative.

Potsdam Rescue Squad Ice Cream Social, 6:30 to 8 p.m., behind the Clarkson Inn.

Northern Music & Video Main Stage: Noon to 1 p.m.: Ed Trainor, acoustic; 1 to 2 p.m.: Sounds of Nashville in the Adirondacks, country; 2 to 3 p.m.: Hermon-DeKalb Jazz Ensemble; 3 to 4 p.m.: King Kong, blues/rock; 4 to 5 p.m.: Country Showdown, singing contest; 5 to 7 p.m.: Tas Cru, blues/Americana; 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Six Foot Midget, rock.

For a full schedule of Potsdam Summer Festival events, visit

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