Looking to celebrate that historic day in 1776, when Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Samuel Adams and the rest of the Continental Congress threw down the gauntlet, declaring open rebellion against the mighty British Empire?
Good. New Paltz and Highland have you covered. Both communities have scheduled occasions that will help you sate the need to view massive explosions while looking back on American history. Here is what is planned on the various days next week.
On July 4 itself, people can get a special treat by going out onto the Walkway Over the Hudson to watch the Poughkeepsie fireworks launch from the middle of the Hudson River. It’s definitely not your standard fireworks-viewing vantage point. This event should be good for people looking to spice up the holiday or entertain family from out of town.
People who’d like to get out on the bridge need to purchase tickets. They’re $10 per person, but kids younger than five get in for free.
Once the tickets are secure, Walkway officials suggest that people get to the bridge by 6:30 p.m. It’s also suggested that participants bring a picnic, chairs and flashlights. Walkway won’t be allowing bicycles, skateboards, pets, alcohol or tobacco on the bridge that night.
Tickets can be purchased at Gateway Diner in Highland, at Mahoney’s Irish Pub in Poughkeepsie, or online through www.walkway.org.
Friday, July 5
Last year, the Town of Lloyd partnered with the City of Poughkeepsie to put on fireworks out over the river. This year, the town is putting on a display of its own. People can expect a rustic, old-fashioned affair that appeals to people seeking a small-town experience. There will be corn on the cob, watermelon and cotton candy, along with carnival games and a bouncy castle for kids. Entertainment will be provided by the band Touch of Rhythm and a DJ.
It’ll run from 5 p.m. till 10:30 p.m., with the fireworks after dusk, and will take place at the town field behind the First United Methodist Church in Highland.
Saturday, July 6
New Paltz will again hold its annual celebration out at the Ulster County Fairgrounds. Expect activities for the kids, like the bouncy castle. People of all ages can look forward to lots of good food, including Caribbean cuisine, and 4-H milkshakes. The fairgrounds open at 5 p.m. for the event, which will run past 10 p.m. It is being sponsored locally by ShopRite, the O’Connor family and Ulster Savings Bank.
People looking just to see the fireworks should know that the route out the fairgrounds gets pretty crammed. “Expect traffic the later it gets,” advised Stephen Warren of the New Paltz Celebrations Committee. People should try to show up prior to 8:30 p.m. to beat the traffic and get good seats.
Music will also be an all-ages affair: Look for children’s music from Grenadilla at 6 p.m. The band Soul Purpose, known for its blues, soul and Motown covers, will be playing at 8:30 p.m.
Handicapped parking stickers for New Paltz’s fireworks are available to those who qualify, and they can be picked up at the town hall.
If bad weather comes to town instead of the fireworks, New Paltz has an Independence Day rain date on Sunday, July 7. If the show goes to a rain date, all the times and the county fairgrounds location will stay the same.
People aren’t sure of how to find the fairgrounds or who are otherwise dependent on GPS can punch in 249 Libertyville Road, New Paltz to find the right place.