O Say, Can You See Some Fireworks
Funny how fireworks, invented by the Chinese in the 12th century, still inspire more awe and delight than anything Disney (studio and parks divisions combined) has conjured up so far. This weekend there will be many displays, the big challenge, apart from nabbing a parking spot with a view (despite extra-high parking charges, sanctioned lots fill up fast), is figuring out which display is what night.
Great Barrington On Saturday, July 2, at 9:30 p.m., there will be free fireworks at the Wyantenuck Country Club. (Rain date: Sunday, July 3rd)
Lenox At noon on Monday, July 4, Shakespeare and Co. presents Revolutionary Moments, vignettes about the influence of the Bard on a range of historic figures. (adults/$15, 18 and younger/$5). This will be followed by S&Co.‘s eighth annual reading of the Declaration of Independence July 4 at 3 p.m., followed by an S& Co.-hosted barbecue, where food will be sold. That evening, at Tanglewood, also in Lenox, marks the last night of James Taylor’s big weekend, and, not surprisingly, it is long since sold out. But the fireworks display that follows is visible from many locales in the immediate vicinity. Olivia’s Overlook on the Richmond Road, an obvious choice, is best approached on foot as that small, free lot fills early.
North Adams There will be a fireworks display immediately following the SteepleCats game at Joe Wolfe Field, 87 Marshall Street.
Pittsfield As 2011 is Pittsfield’s 250th anniversary, their 4th of July Parade, which USA Today, has declared one of the country’s top 10, will be an even bigger deal than usual. It starts at 10 a.m. Monday. That evening, after the Colonials 6:30 p.m. game at Wahconah Park, there will be fireworks at the ballpark. Since they don’t begin until the game is over, it’s impossible to give an exact time, but if the game doesn’t go into extra innings, think 9:30ish.
WilliamstownThe annual Independence Day Parade in steps off from Southworth Street at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 4th and culminates at about 1:30 p.m. with a barbecue, followed by a reading of the Declaration of Independence in front of the Williams College Museum of Art.
Chatham The town parade, complete with bands and floats, starts at 9:30 a.m. on July 3rd. Later in Chatham, the Family Fun Fest—free rides, kids’ activities, entertainment— at the Columbia Country Fairgrounds starts at 3 p.m., followed by fireworks at dusk. Food and beverages available may be purchaused. Admission/$5; under 12/free
Germantown From 2 - 10 p.m. on July 4th, Clermont State Historic Site, home of a signer of the Declaration, offers an Old-Fashioned Independence Day, where anyone so inclined might actually learn some history. Even the music ranges from 18th-century to pop. There is food for purchase (although picnickers are welcome), and fireworks over the Hudson, courtesy of the town of Saugerties on the other side. Per vehicle/$8 before 8 p.m., $10 after 8 p.m.
Kinderhook At 11 a.m. on July 4th, the annual People’s Parade, complete with old cars and kids of crepe-paper decorated bikes begins. Prepare to be charmed.
Lebanon On Saturday, July 2, after the races at the Lebanon Valley Speedway, there will be “the most unbelievable fireworks display imaginable.” Adults/$11 & $20, children/$2;
Old Chatham The organizers of this unflashy parade boast that there are “no celebrities,” which sums up the sweet spirit of the thing. Anyone who wishes to can be in the parade. Gather at the Old Firehouse at 9:00 a.m., the parade begins at 9:30 a.m. Albany Turnpike Road going through Old Chatham will be closed for about an hour.
Poughkeepsie will hold its fireworks celebration on the 4th at about 9 p.m. People can view it for free at Waryas Park, but the best perch is probably the splendid new Walkway Over the Hudson. Those wishing to view it from on high must buy a special $10 wristband, available at various area stores, in order to gain admittance. Since, for safety, the number of people allowed on the Walkway must be limited, so are the number of wristbands, which are expected to sell out fast.
Rhinebeck The Dutchess County Fairgrounds hosts the Hudson Valley Philharmonic & Fireworks on Monday. Offerings range from Aaron Copeland to selections from the Broadway shows Rent and Hairspray, sung by vocalists from the Tri-Arts Sharon Playhouse. Gates open at 6, the concert starts at 8, and the fireworks are at dusk. Admission/$12, advance/$8, under 12/free; OR carload/$45, advance/$35.
Lime Rock Every year Lime Rock Park in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Salisbury hosts the local fireworks show. This year the fireworks will be on Saturday, July 2 (rain date: Sunday, July 3. Carload/$10. Gates open at 6 p.m. for picnicking; fireworks begin around 9 p.m. Please leave the dog at home.
Litchfield On July 4th, The Litchfield Historical Society is sponsoring a Turn of the Century Fest and Pet Parade, welcoming owners of creatures (caged, if feathered, or leashed, if furry) great and small to march them through the streets in celebration of America’s independence. At the end of the parade route, there will be a turn-of-the-century-themed party, complete with sack races, tugs-of-war, seed-spitting competitions, and an ice cream social.
New Milford‘s annual Independence weekend carnival, featuring rides, game booths, and food, will take place at Young’s Field beginning on Thursday June 30th and continuing through Saturday, July 2nd, culminating with a free fireworks display on the 2nd, at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Fort Hill Still Meadow (behind Starbucks). Rain date: Sunday, July 3rd.
Washington The grounds of the Shepaug Valley Middle/High School will open at 3 p.m. on July 4 for BYO family picnickers. (There will also be some food concessions.) Fireworks begin at dusk.