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Potsdam Summer Festival 2013 Kicks Off

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POTSDAM - Market Street in Potsdam was packed full of vendors, food, live music, and joyous attendees on Thursday, which could only mean one thing.

The annual Potsdam Summer Festival is back. This, the 46th annual event, features constant activities, food, and entertainment for the people to enjoy.

The event, which has no admission cost, is sponsored by the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce and runs from through Saturday3.

Marylee Ballou, executive director of the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce, said she enjoys Potsdam hosting nonstop fun for three consecutive days.

“We’ve always had some events that happen every year, including the band stage all three days. From the beginning, we’ve always had a craft show on the Saturday in Ives Park and an auto show, an antique car show. We do have vendors pay to set up, crafters pay to set up. The businesses that they set out in front of their (store), they are not charged for that of course. There’s really no charge to most of the events. It’s a community open event,” Ms. Ballou said.

“It started as a way for the businesses to get a boost in the middle of the summer with their business. So, they wanted to bring their business out onto the streets for the public. Northern Music (& Video), of course, being a long standing business here in Potsdam, said, ‘Well, let’s do music on the street, make it like a block party kind of thing.’ And then it just kept growing from there,” she said.

Even for those not strolling the streets, getting food and buying merchandise, the day is still a good one for vendors like Bob Burroughs of Massena. This is Mr. Burrough’s eighth Summer Festival and this year he was selling many items, ranging from t-shirts to jewelry.

“I enjoy meeting the people and making money and it’s very good weather. Sometimes we don’t have such good weather. I think this is a little bit more than we’ve had the last couple of years, but that could all change tonight. Hopefully we’ll have another good day tomorrow,” he said.

First time vendors at the festival have had success as well, as indicated by Haley Clark of Potsdam, who sells sunglasses, and Daniel J. Mullin from Gouverneur, who cooks and sells various barbecue foods with his wife. “This is our first time here, but I don’t see why we wouldn’t come back. It’s a nice time, the music’s nice. We do a bunch of barbecue stuff; pulled pork, ribs, and chicken,” he said.

“It’s been kind of slow today, but I feel like tomorrow might be better. Saturday should be good too since more people might be off from work,” she said.

Friday starts with more sidewalk sales, vendors, and concessions at 10 a.m., and the Potsdam Community Band will be playing a concert in the Ives Park Gazebo from 6:30 to 8 p.m. to close the day.

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