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Oatka Festival

July 16, 2022 - 9:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oatka Festival, parade, Le Roy, news.


The Oatka Festival Parade returned to the Village of Le Roy on Saturday after a two-year hiatus because of pandemic protocols. 

Ed Henry, Le Roy sports super-booster, coach, and photographer, was the grand marshall (second photo).

The Oatka Festival continues tomorrow (Sunday) in Trigon Park and along the east bank of the Oatka Creek.

Photos by Howard Owens.  To view 55 more photos and to purchase prints, click here.
















Overlooking the Creekside Inn patio after the parade.

July 12, 2022 - 9:18pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Oatka Festival, Le Roy, entertainment, notify.


More than 50 groups, from high school marching bands and this year’s Little League champs to Shriners in their tiny cars, the Hitmen Brass Band, American Legion colorguard and floats each from three different alumni classes, the 2022 Oatka Festival will remind spectators what they’ve missed during the pandemic.

After two long years of social distancing, this year’s festival promises folks two full days of parade entertainment, assorted yummy food tents, a fishing and a duck derby, the reunion gathering of Class of 1965, ’67’ and ’77, a music tent, children’s activities, a car show, photo contest, and craft and food vendors.

The fun kicks off Friday evening with a dance for LeRoy students that runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for grades one to six and 8 to 10 p.m. for grades seven to 12. The festival runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on the banks of Oatka Creek and in Trigon Park.

“It’s Le Roy’s little state fair, just a little community get-together," said Scott Ripley, chairman of the parade committee.

It’s an understatement to say planning such an event takes time.

“I start calling people for the parade in January; you've got to book them early," Ripley said. "The parade is awesome, I love the parade. It lasts for a good hour.” 

His first year helping out was in 2012, and he recalled how he and his wife Mary Margaret handed out coupons for a free cookie from her prior bakery shop. They handed out 500 of them, he said. The parade typically draws much more than that, as people line both sides of Main Street.

Ripley has also served as parade announcer and has become well-versed in most aspects of the event, from the “fire department’s potatoes” to a surprise at this year’s duck derby.

He was happy to book a return visit from Downbeat Percussion, which was last there about six years ago. The group’s first performance was in 2013, and it has expanded throughout New York State, including for the Buffalo Bills, and in Canada for parades. Downbeat’s website states the group “will energize your parade with our world-class performers and entertainers.”

“So that's gonna be exciting to see the original percussions of the Buffalo Bills,” Ripley said.

The parade is to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, and anyone that walks in unregistered — but is ready to go — will still be accepted, he said.

Other groups include the Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, a crowd favorite, and The Hitmen Brass Band, a fun and talented group of musicians, who dress the part in colorful pin-stripe zoot suits. Formerly from Attica, they were founded in 2002 by World Drum Corps and Buglers Hall of Fame Member David Martin. 

Ripley just registered two more groups this week, including Limerock Speedway and an auto-detailing company. A first-time float from Le Roy’s Historical Society will pay homage to Ingham University, which once graced the banks of the Oatka in Le Roy, New York and was the first women's college in New York State and the first chartered women's university in the United States.

Back to those potatoes, which the fire department buys whole, slices, and fries into a golden crispy french fry. There’s also Le Roy Rotary’s hotdogs, plus pizza, pulled pork, chicken barbecue and beef on weck.

Kids will have plenty to do, Ripley said, with a mini petting zoo, a child-friendly mechanical bull, a rock wall, Mr. Scribbles, a boot camp challenge and a two-lane balloon slide.

Is your child photogenic and like Jell-O? Snap a picture and enter it for the Toddler’s First Picture Eating Jell-O contest. There will be a public vote of the entries during the festival, and the winner receives a basket full of Jell-O products. Entries must be submitted by Thursday.

Vendors will be selling their wares of glass fixtures, T-shirts, rugs, Farmers Market produce, baby booties, washcloths, meat and more. There will also be a K-9 demonstration, a used book sale and music by various artists, including a Fleetwood Mac tribute band. A 50/50 raffle promises one winner $500 on Saturday and another winner of half the grand total pot on Sunday. Both drawings are set for 5 p.m. each day. That grand bounty is at least $1,000 “for sure,” Ripley said.

For more information about the festival schedule or related events, go to oatkafestival.org.


2018 File photos of Le Roy's Oatka Festival. Photos by Howard Owens.

Here are two videos from 2019, when Le Roy was able to last host the Oatka Festival.

Video Sponsor


April 25, 2020 - 8:46am
posted by Billie Owens in COVID-19, Le Roy, Oatka Festival, news.

Press release:

The 2020 Oatka Festival in Le Roy has been cancelled for this year.

Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, the need for social distancing, and our concern for the health of the community, vendors, volunteers, and attendees we have decided to cancel the Oatka Festival for 2020.

We are in the process of contacting vendors and those who have donated.

Next year’s Oatka Festival is scheduled for July 17 and 18, 2021.

Thank you,

Committee of Oatka Festival

July 14, 2019 - 1:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, video.
Video Sponsor
July 13, 2019 - 10:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oatka Festival, oatka parade, parade, video, Le Roy.
Video Sponsor
July 15, 2018 - 10:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, parades, news.













To purchase prints, click here.

July 16, 2017 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oatka Festival, Le Roy, news.

High, fast waters of the Oatka Creek are forcing organizers to run the annual Duck Derby a little differently this year.

Instead of floating the rubber duckies across the water, from the west bank to the east bank, volunteers will blow the ducks down the road with leaf blowers.

The Duck Derby, a fundraiser for both the Oatka Festival and a local charity, will take place at 5 p.m.

July 15, 2017 - 10:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, parade, news, notify.

















To purchase prints, click here.

July 16, 2016 - 10:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oatka Festival, parade, Le Roy, news.


It was a perfect day for a parade in Le Roy and the annual Oatka Festival Parade went off without a hitch.

One of the highlights of the parade was the performance by the Preston Scout House Band, of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, which closed out the parade (top photo and bottom three photos, with more in the slide show).














Don't let these memories get away: To purchase prints, click here.

June 29, 2016 - 3:00pm

The 2016 Oatka Festival Regatta Information is Sunday, July 17th, at 2 p.m. at the Oatka Creek Bank on Wolcott Street in Le Roy. For registration: You may bring your boat the day of the event. Registration/check in table will open at 12:30 p.m. on the creek bank. Cost: $15 per person. Please make checks payable to Oatka Festival and mail to: Sam Vagg, 72 North St., Le Roy, NY 14482. The deadline to register is July 8th.

Please mail payment, the completed team registration form, the 2016 Oatka Festival regatta application, statement of physical condition, and waiver & release of liability form for EACH MEMBER OF YOUR TEAM. All documents are available for download at: http://www.oatkafestival.org/. Please register your team together.

Please contact Sam Vagg at [email protected] with any questions. The Regatta Steering Committee reserves the right to close registration due to volume of registrants.

July 18, 2015 - 7:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, parade.













To purchase prints, click here.

July 21, 2014 - 12:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, duck derby.

Chapter 193 of the Vietnam Veterans of America sponsored the 25th annual Duck Derby in Le Roy today, with an assist from the Le Roy Volunteer Fire Department.

Luke Gottsi won. Rich Noble, second, and Jerry Castantino, third.

July 20, 2014 - 8:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, parades.

Big crowd and lots of great community spirit were on display Saturday during the annual Oatka Festival Parade, followed by fun and games at the festival in Trigon Park.

The biggest cheers of the parade went up when the Class of 1984 came through and the announcers said among the things the class supports is saving Frost Ridge, and then again when the Save Frost Ridge group itself came through the parade (above).

To purchase prints, click here.

June 16, 2014 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in events, Le Roy, Oatka Festival.
Event Date and Time: 
July 19, 2014 - 10:00am to July 20, 2014 - 6:00pm

Join us for the 26th Annual Oatka Festival! It will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 19-20 on the banks of the Oatka Creek in Le Roy.

  • Kick-off with the Parade: Saturday, July 19, at 11 a.m.
  • Wrap-up with the Duck Derby: Sunday, July 20, at  5 p.m.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter for updates! Or on the Web:

oatkafestival.org <http://oatkafestival.org>

July 19, 2013 - 5:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival.

Here are the final, official Le Roy Duck Derby results, sponsored by Chapter 193 of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

  1. Miley Stalica – Bergen, $500
  2. Paul Senger -- $100
  3. Nicole Kochmanski -- $50
  4. Bob Dash – Byron, 2 raft rides on the Salmon River, Pulaski from Adventure Calls Outfitters, Le Roy
  5. Pete Lang – Le Roy, 1 family membership to Seneca Park Zoo
  6. R. Puleo – Batavia, 2 complimentary visits to Le Roy Chiropractic
  7. Devon Sczudlo – LeRoy, 1 free detail service from Castilone Chrysler/Dodge/ Jeep in Batavia
  8. David Zinni – Batavia, $50 gift card from “Park Avenue Pub and Restaurant,” Rochester
  9. Colin Graham – Le Roy, 2 complimentary day passes to Darien Lake
  10. Ken Sovocool – Batavia, 1 Family Fun Pack to the Rochester Museum & Science Center
  11. Dan Murphy – Henrietta, 2 rounds of golf at “The Club on Silver Lake”
  12. Korey Wallace – Stafford, 2 rounds of miniature golf at Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia
  13. Mary Humphry – Le Roy, 2 rounds of miniature golf at Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia
  14. Laura Carli – Le Roy, 2 rounds of miniature golf at Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia
  15. Hunter Russell – Le Roy, 2 rounds of miniature golf at Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia
  16. Ray Mancuso – Le Roy, 2 complimentary tickets for 2 adults on the steamship “The Maid of the Mist" in Niagara Falls
  17. Jamie Carli – Le Roy, 1 family pass for 2 adults and 3 children at the N.Y. Museum of Transportation
  18. Giacovelli – 2 courtesy day passes at the Genesee Country Museum
  19. Tom Boss – Warsaw, 1 Buffalo/Sabres Yearbook Autographed by #21 Drew Stafford
  20. Chad Corant – Le Roy, laser signed photos of Buffalo Bills # 28 C.J.
    Spiller and #99 Marcell Darius
  21. Rick Scott – Le Roy, autographed photo of Kyle Gibson of the Rochester Red Wings
  22. Bryan Osborne – Le Roy, $20 gift card for City Slickers Bar & Grill in Batavia
  23. Jim Murphy – Le Roy, $15 gift certificate for the POK-A-DOT restaurant in Batavia
  24. Molly O’Geen – Le Roy, 1 medium pizza, chesse and 1 topping at Big Paulie's Pizza in Batavia
  25. Dave Tyler – Le Roy, 1 medium pizza, cheese and 1 topping at Big Paulie's Pizza in Batavia
  26. Dave Watson – 2 paperback books from Present Tense books and gifts in Batavia
  27. Sawyer McNish – Le Roy, for the last place duck, a $10 gift certificate for Applebee's restaurant and $10 cash
July 15, 2013 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival.

Jack Mayer, of Le Roy, gets his hand waxed by Lisa McCombs, owner of Wax Hands by Unique Creations, during the second day of the Oatka Festival on Sunday.

Tom McQuaig creates an airbrushed T-shirt.

Preparation for the annual Duck Derby across Oatka Creek. 

Duck racing fans.

The winner selected. We don't have information yet on who won.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

July 13, 2013 - 11:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, parades.

Photos from Saturday's Oatka Festival Parade.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

July 15, 2012 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, parades.

Saturday was a perfect day for a parade in one of the region's best venues for marching bands and floats, the Village of Le Roy.

Here are photos from yesterday's 2012 Oatka Festival Parade.

The festival continues today until 6 p.m.  The annual duck derby race is at 5 p.m.

If you're unable to view the slide show, click here.

Prints of these photos are available for purchase by clicking here.

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