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Potsdam SummerFest On Tap July 12-14

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POTSDAM — Potsdam’s annual summer celebration returns Thursday with its mix of music, entertainment and shopping.

Marylee E. Ballou, executive director of the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce, described Summer Festival as “a combination of a block party in the downtown area with coordinated events, as well as music,” adding that returning guests also can look forward to some old events with a new twist.

The event usually draws anywhere from 500 to 900 people a day, according to Ms. Ballou.

“Outer Market Mania” returns to 200 Market St. from noon to 4 p.m. Friday after a five-year absence. The youth-centered event was canceled in years past because of business leaving the plaza, but a recent revitalization provided plenty of sponsors for the event.

The festival is too big to be contained on Market Street, as it once was.

“After 45 years we’ve almost outgrown the area where this has occurred,” Ms. Ballou said.

On Pine Street, the new Madstop market opens from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and is a spin on the old flea market from previous festivals. Ms. Ballou said that they are “trying to revive interest in the flea market,” and that “Madstop” — Potsdam spelled backwards — is an old nickname for the town.

On the same day, the craft show, which features handmade products by local artists, will take place from 9 a.m. onward at Ives Park. Nonprofit organizations also will be showcased at the park during the event.

Other highlights include an antique car show, the Raquette River Beer and Wine Fest and the Orchestra of Northern New York’s annual “Junque” fair, which Ms. Ballou described as a high-end garage sale.

Market Street will be blocked off to provide room for the main stage, where musicians of all stripes will perform throughout the weekend.

The festival features live music on all three days, starting at noon Thursday at the Northern Music and Video main stage.

Aside from individual singers, there are also bands that play the local music circuit.

“We have all genres: rock, country, bluegrass, jazz. We even have an orchestra,” Ms. Ballou said.

The festival is held in conjunction with SUNY Potsdam’s and Clarkson University’s alumni weekends. Many who used to live in Potsdam will return to town for the event.

Summer Fest begins Thursday with a chicken barbecue at 11 a.m. and runs until 9:30 p.m., and it runs from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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