Subscriber login

What you need to know for 08/20/2017

Holiday fireworks are grand finales to days celebrating our nation’s birth

Holiday fireworks are grand finales to days celebrating our nation’s birth

As ever, communities in the Capital Region and Adirondack Mountains have planned nights of pyrotechn

July means exploding color in midnight blue skies.

As ever, communities in the Capital Region and Adirondack Mountains have planned nights of pyrotechnic sound and fury for early summer. With the Fourth of July falling in the middle of the week this year, some fireworks shows are being held this weekend to warm up people for more rockets and whistles on Tuesday and Wednesday. Shows scheduled for next weekend will extend the aerial glitter.

In many places, fireworks shows are grand finales to full days of seasonal revelry. Chicken barbecues, fishing derbies, horseshoe throwing, classic car shows, road races, duck races, bed races and pie-eating contests are also part of the holiday in some communities.

On Tuesday, people will be all over Wiles Park in Fort Plain, Schoharie County, for the annual “4th on the 3rd” celebration. “If the weather is good, we get all kinds of people,” said Loring S. Dutcher, Fort Plain’s deputy mayor. “Every year, we get bigger and bigger.”

Kate Jarosh, president of the board for Saratoga Springs’ daylong “All-American Celebration,” believes Wednesday’s Fourth of July party in the city’s downtown and Congress Park is more than just fireworks.

Saluting America

“I think it’s a day to celebrate who we are as a country and all the freedoms we have to be thankful for,” Jarosh said of the gathering that has been held annually since 2008. “In that spirit, we have put together an event that celebrates the greatest things America has to offer, from our barbecue and dessert, to our civic organizations showcased in the parade to remembering our history with our re-enactors and tours.”

The “All-American” proceedings begin at 9 a.m. with the Firecracker4 four-mile road race. A parade on Broadway begins at 10 a.m. A barbecue and dessert festival, classic car show and family games in Congress Park are also on the schedule.

Big days are also planned in Northville, where the “Doin’s” is the July haymaker. Glens Falls has “Summer Jam,” Chestertown runs “Summerfest” and Ticonderoga is the spot for the “Best Fourth in the North.”

People in Minerva gather for “Minerva Day Celebration.” Waterford attracts boating fans for its “Steamboat Meet,” and Wilton’s party is “ParkFest.” Mechanicville’s summer reunion is billed as “Family Day in the Park.”

“People seem to be attracted to fireworks,” said Pat Topetro, chairman of Mechanicville’s party at Tallmadge Park on Sunday, July 8. “They seem to like the vendors, just like that ‘fair’ type of thing. You know how they flock to fairs for foods and things like that. It attracts kids and families.”

A party that begins with the sun and ends with the moon appeals to people who have only one plan for the day — show up and relax. They’ve been doing it in Mechanicville for the past 37 years now.

“It is phenomenal the people who come out,” Topetro said. “We get thousands of people, really at night when they start to come in — the field is filled with people. They come, they eat. It’s just a nice day.”

Big summer parties

Steve Porto, parks and recreation director for the town of Wilton, knows Gavin Park will be packed for the town’s summer party on Saturday, July 14.

“Who doesn’t want to have a good time at a reasonable price?” he asked. “Our ParkFest is mostly events that are no charge. There’s no charge for admission, no charge for parking, virtually everything is free. There’s blueberry pie and ice cream, just a day of fun and activities. You’ve got to buy your own food, but there’s a lot of good prices and a lot of great selection.”

Last year, more than 10,000 people attended. For 2012, pony rides, face painting, fire engine displays and wine tastings — reds, whites but no blues — are on the schedule. Porto said the pig races are popular. So are the musicians who play ParkFest.

“This year, we’ve brought in from Pennsylvania a tribute band called Beatlemania Now,” he said. “They should be exciting to watch and listen to. It’s a full day of events and entertainment. I think it’s a hard day to pass up.”

“Minerva Day,” in the Essex County community about 30 minutes north of Lake George, also has fans. Jordan Green, clerk to supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey, said local camp sites and Donnelly Beach will quickly fill with people prepared for Saturday’s summer party.

“It’s a big celebration,” she said. “We always have a parade, it’s kind of our celebration for the year. People look forward to it.”

While people are happy to spend the afternoon and early evening with their lemonades, hot dogs and ice cream sandwiches, many might just be counting down the hours before dusk. “Maybe I’m biased, but Minerva has always had really great fireworks,” Green said. “The last few years have been really good.”

When are the fireworks?

Night skies in the Capital Region and Adirondacks will be fiery and furious this weekend and into mid-July. Here’s where people can see holiday and summer fireworks shows:


• Troy, Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, following the Tri-City ValleyCats-Connecticut Tigers baseball game


• Scotia, Jumpin’ Jack’s in Freedom Park

• Malta, Albany-Saratoga Speedway


• Minerva, Donnelly Beach.

• West Lebanon, Lebanon Valley Speedway


• Thurman


• Amsterdam, Shuttleworth Park, following the Amsterdam Mohawks-Cooperstown Hawkeyes game

• Fort Plain, Wiles Park

• Glens Falls, East Field

• Hague, Town Park

• Queensbury, The Great Escape

• Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Casino and Raceway


• Albany, Empire State Plaza

• Bolton Landing, Rogers Memorial Park

• Clifton Park, Clifton Common

• Cobleskill

• Inlet, over Fourth Lake

• Lake George (also every Thursday night, beginning July 12 and continuing through Aug. 23)

• Lake Placid

• Long Lake

• Old Forge

• Raquette Lake

• Salem, Firemen’s Carnival Grounds

• Saranac Lake, over Lake Flower

• Saratoga Springs, Congress Park

• Schroon Lake

• Ticonderoga

• Troy, Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, following the Tri-City ValleyCats-State College Spikes baseball game

• Mayfield, Lanzi’s on the Lake


• Troy, Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, following the Tri-City ValleyCats-State College Spikes baseball game


• Northville, Sport Island Pub

• Piseco Lake, Sandy Cove


• Chestertown, Summerfest

• Corinth

• Greenwich, Elks Lodge

• Indian Lake, Byron Park

• North Creek, Ski Bowl Park

• Northville, over Little Lake

• Saratoga Lake (both north and south ends)

• Speculator

• Waterford, Waterford Harbor Visitors Center


• Mechanicville, Tallmadge Park


• Troy, Pig Out Barbecue Festival

• Wilton, Gavin Park, ParkFest


• Schenectady, Schenectady County Summer Night Finale

View Comments
Hide Comments
0 premium 1 premium 2 premium 3 premium 4 premium 5 premium 6 premium 7 premium article articles remaining SUBSCRIBE TODAY

You have reached your monthly premium content limit.

Continue to enjoy Daily Gazette premium content by becoming a subscriber.
Already a subscriber? Log In