You may be tempted to celebrate the nation’s freedom by spending July Fourth at a family picnic followed by a poolside nap in a lounge chair, but this year’s holiday may be the time to load the kids into the car to attend as many community gatherings you can pack into 12 hours.
There are scores of events across the Capital Region, and in one day, you can listen to music, grab a grilled burger and watch fireworks lighting up the night skies.
It’s a three-day weekend, so there’s time to put your feet up and relax all day Sunday.
Here is a list of events scheduled throughout the Capital Region for Friday.
For 32 years, downtown Albany has been a hub of Independence Day activities. Sponsored by Price Chopper and set at the Empire State Plaza, events will kick off at 2 p.m. and continue until 10 p.m.
A full day of musical performances will include headliner John Waite, Soul Session and Schalmont High School senior Louis Lohraseb, who will lead the crowd in “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Other entertainment will include the Skyriders, a team of professional trampoline acrobats, and an extreme sport stunt show by 518 Positive Reinforcement. There will be rides, craft vendors, a coloring mural, the Price Chopper Hopper Bounce-Around, the Valley Cats Fun Van, Albany Conquest mascot KidQuest and River Rats mascot Rowdy. Albany’s Shelter Skate Park members will do skateboarding demonstrations, and Radio Disney’s inflatable gaming area will have video games and samples of RockStar beverages. The New York State Lottery will also be at the plaza with games and prizes.
Marine Corps representatives will host a Toys for Tots campaign drop site at the plaza. In honor of the upcoming presidential and local elections, the League of Women Voters will be there to register voters and distribute 10,000 “Rock the Vote” buttons.
u The USS Slater will be open to the public for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a brief commemoration ceremony at noon. The Slater is on the Hudson River in downtown Albany just south of the Dunn Memorial Bridge.
u The Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site in Albany will host an old-fashioned celebration on its grounds from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with games and music from the 18th century, activities and ice cream. The mansion will be open for tours for a nominal fee. Call 434-0834 for information.
u Clifton Park’s parade along Route 146 begins at noon. The parade will travel from the Shenendehowa Central School District campus to Clifton Common on Vischer Ferry Road. Opening ceremonies by VFW, Elks and American Legion members will start at 1 p.m. Food will be available. There will be amusement rides (tickets required), an all-day craft show, tours of the new fire prevention bus with free balloons and fire hats, pony rides, a juggler/unicyclist and strolling clowns. Entertainment will take place on the Clifton Common stage. Fireworks will close the day at 9:30 p.m.
u Saratoga Springs will host its first “Saratoga’s All-American Celebration: Family, Freedom and Founding Fathers” July 3-6, featuring music, re-enactments, parades, classic cars, bands and a barbecue and dessert festival where people can vote for their favorites. It all kicks off Friday at 1 p.m. and ends Sunday at 2 p.m. All events will be in Congress Park. Fireworks are scheduled for Friday evening.
u The Saratoga Battlefield will host a citizenship ceremony at 10 a.m. in which 20 people will become naturalized American citizens. The park will present readings of the Declaration of Independence at 1 and 3 p.m., with park ranger Joe Craig as a town crier proclaiming the news of America’s independence.
u In the village of Cobleskill, a parade will begin at noon. The parade will be followed by a family concert at 1 p.m. featuring Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers. The concert will be in Veterans Park in the center of the village. The Schoharie County All-Star Mustangs, a local cheerleading group, will hold a chicken barbecue on East Main Street beginning at 11 a.m. Fireworks will cap off the day at dusk at the Schoharie County fairgrounds.
u The Iroquois Indian Museum at Howe Caverns will host an exhibit July 3-6 by artist Peter Jones, who will be showing his artwork and pottery skills.
There will be a social dance with Chris Thomas from the Beaver Clan. The museum is currently featuring “Baseball’s League of Nations: A Tribute to Native American Baseball Players.” Its hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call 296-8949 for information.
u The Old Stone Fort Museum in Schoharie will have a Revolutionary War encampment with ceremonies featuring readings of the Declaration of Independence at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the front lawn. A Liberty Pole will be raised to re-enact protests against King George III’s declaration that his colonies were in rebellion. Activities will include Colonial-era demonstrations, drills, a Revolutionary War military encampment and mock skirmishes. The fort is at 145 Fort Road in Schoharie. Call 295-7192 for information.
u The Landis Arboretum in Esperance and the New York Power Authority Visitors Center will present various free outdoor family activities, gifts, contests and energy saving events July 5 and 6. The arboretum is located at 174 Lape Road in Esperance. Call 875-6935.
The Fort Klock historic homestead strawberry festival and art show will take place from noon to 5 p.m., with the Tryon County Militia on hand to discuss local colonial history. The fort is in St. Johnsville. Call 568-7779 for information.
Schenectady County doesn’t have a July Fourth event scheduled, but its premier summer event, Summer Night, will take place Friday, July 18, with entertainment at various locations in downtown Schenectady on State Street between Broadway and Lafayette Street. Performers will include the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers, The Refrigerators, Ernie Williams and more. There will also be food and craft vendors. The day will conclude with a fireworks display sponsored by Price Chopper. The event will run from 4:30 to 10 p.m.
Bombs bursting in air
Here is a list of fireworks displays for Friday:
u Albany — Empire State Plaza
u Bolton Landing — Fort Ticonderoga
u Clifton Park — Clifton Common
u Cobleskill — Schoharie County Fairgrounds
u Lake George — Shepard Park
u Mayfield — Lanzi’s on the Lake
u Queensbury — The Great Escape
u Saratoga Springs — Congress Park
u Troy — Joseph L. Bruno Stadium
Fireworks scheduled for Saturday include:
u Edinburgh — I-GO-IN restaurant, 241 South Shore Road
u Greenwich — Elks Club
u North Creek — Ski Bowl Park
u Northville — Northville Civic Association parade at 1 p.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
u Waterford — Northville Lake
Fireworks scheduled for Sunday include:
u Amsterdam — Shuttleworth Park
u Northville — Sport Island Pub, Sacandaga Park
Fireworks scheduled for Sunday, July 13, include:
u Mechanicville — Tallmadge Park
u Scotia — Jumpin’ Jack’s in Freedom Park
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