Music from top local bands is an essential component of a New Paltz Independence Day celebration, and this year’s headliner, Lindsey Webster and the Big Ass Band — a high-energy ensemble with a nine-piece horn section that plays R & B, blues, jazz and soul — should just about blow everyone out of the park. Esme Hyman will sing the National Anthem, and Honig is still searching for an opening act “geared towards children” to kick off the musical proceedings. Ins & Outs will be doing the sound and Ballantine Communications the lighting.
The fireworks show itself won’t start until the sky is fully dark. “The music will continue after the fireworks, so people can keep on dancing,” says Honig. Indeed, a gradual exit of the crowds from the fairgrounds goes a long way toward reducing traffic backups from Route 299. But visitors from farther afield would be well-advised to take a tip from the locals and opt for the “scenic route” home through Gardiner by turning right instead of left on Libertyville upon exiting the parking lot. It’s only a few miles longer, but usually shorter timewise. Car-pooling is also encouraged.
The 2012 July Fourth Celebration is a free community event, with no parking or entry fee. But contributions are needed to pay for all this year’s expenses and to provide seed money for another great show in 2013. To donate, mail your check payable to “New Paltz Celebrations” to New Paltz Celebrations, P.O. Box 550, New Paltz, NY 12561. ++
Fireworks in the Town of Lloyd
The Town of Lloyd will have Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) buses on hand to shepherd fireworks enthusiasts back and forth from the Walkway Over the Hudson to the Bob Shepard Park to the Hannaford Plaza during the July 4th festivities that are being jointly sponsored and funded by the City of Poughkeepsie, the Town of Lloyd and the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park.
It’s poised to be a spectacular night, with a $15,000 fireworks show being launched from a barge in the middle of the Hudson River with great views from the riverside parks in Lloyd and Poughkeepsie and, of course, the Walkway Over the Hudson. According to Lloyd Town Supervisor Paul Hansut, vendors have signed up to be at the Bob Shepard Park with food and drink and other goodies, as well as a band that is slated to start performing at 5:30 p.m. A deejay will also be on hand to pump the tunes from the onset of the festivities at 2 p.m. until the band takes the stage at 5:30.
A rain date has been scheduled for Thursday, July 5, but Hansut cautioned that it would only be due to severe weather — not a light drizzle.
To learn more, go to www.townoflloyd.com.