The worst of the pandemic, perhaps, in the rear view; a nation tired and shaken looks for a way to celebrate its birthday in public for the first time in two years.
We spent the morning in Springfield Center, delighted and refreshed as the crowd grew in happy anticipation of the return of the Town’s rightfully heralded Fourth of July Parade. A joy to behold, a joy to talk with the participants as they lined up for the 11 a.m. step-off. Moms and dads, children and grandparents, friends and neighbors coming together on a postcard-perfect morning to celebrate the nation and salute the first responders, the veterans, the children, the bands so proudly marching by.
Then, the drive back to Cooperstown brings news of a wholly different parade experience in Highland Park, Illinois, one in which seven died and dozens were injured because this country has failed, repeatedly, to ban the sale of assault weapons. Because it was more important for Congress to pull a muscle patting itself on the back last week for passing “groundbreaking gun safety legislation” strong enough to barely break a pencil in half. Good job, Congress. You blew it, again.
By PATRICK DEWEY • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA — The Hometown 4th Festival will return to Oneonta’s Neahwa Park to celebrate the July Fourth holiday next weekend, with a theme of honoring essential workers.
The goal is to honor the workers, including grocery store staff, teachers, police officers, firefighters and healthcare workers, who took risks for the community good during the coronavirus pandemic, according to festival officials.
“We wanted to do everything we could to let them know that the First Night Board and the whole community appreciates them,” First Night Board Chair Carol Mandigo said.
The celebration will kick off at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 2, in Neahwa Park, with a free concert by country artist Michael Christopher.
At noon, Sunday, July 4, the parade will line up at Foothills Performing Arts Center on Market Street.
Hundreds of local folks and visitors listened to the Community Concert Band, directed by Julie Solomon, performed “Stars & Stripes Forever” this evening in Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park, with Otsego Lake as a backdrop. Fireworks followed to rousing applause. With fireworks last evening in Oneonta, and parades there and in Springfield Center, this evening’s activities signalled the end of this year’s Fourth of July celebration. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
2 FIREWORKS THIS EVENING
SPRINGFIELD CENTER – Crowds are headed to Springfield Center from the county and around the country this morning for the 103rd Springfield Fourth of July Parade, one of the oldest in the nation, which begins at 11 a.m.
But that’s not all the Independence Day activity.
The parade ends a bit after noon at the Springfield Community Center, where patriot exercises, a Cooperstown Community Band concert, Brooks BBQ and hot dogs and hamburgers are annual staples.
In the evening, attending turns to Glimmerglass State Park, where the Kenesaw Mountain Boys are performing a free concert at 7:30 p.m., followed by fireworks at dusk.
…And in Oneonta, July Fourth Fun
ONEONTA – The City of the Hills’ Fourth of July parade marches down Main Street at noon, ending up in Neahwa Park for the annual Hometown Fourth of July for an afternoon of food, music and games, culminating with fireworks at dusk.
Rain On Fourth Delays, But Doesn’t
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Declaration On 4th At Bump Tavern
Parades, Picnics, Music
Aplenty, Beginning Tonight
From quiet concerts and picnics, to the blasts of fireworks and muskets, there’s something for everyone this Independence Day weekend in Otsego County, kicking off with fireworks over Otsego Lake at dusk on Friday, July 3. Watch them from Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park.
Other than a bit of rain possible Saturday, and weather’s supposed to be close to perfect, as you enjoy:
R U TUFF eNUFF: Celebrate YOUR independence by proving you are Tuff eNuff at Leaf’s annual 5K obstacle course. The race kicks off at 8:30 a.m. July 4 with four noncompetitive waves, a kids run and a competitive race.
SOUNDS OF 1776: At The Farmers’ Museum, experience the first Independence Day with a militia muster and a 1 p.m. July 4 reading of the Declaration of Independence. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 5775 Rte. 80, Cooperstown. Info, www.farmersmuseum.org.
OLDEST PARADE: The 101st Springfield Center parade kicks off 11 a.m. July 4 from Smith Rd. and Rte. 80. A celebration follows at the Community Center, concluding with a free concert featuring the Jeff Walton Band at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at dusk, at Glimmerglass State Park, 1527 Cty. Rd. 31, Cooperstown. Info, (315) 858-0304.
HOMETOWN CELEBRATION: Oneonta’s “Hometown 4th” begins with a noon July 4 parade down Main Street to Neahwa Park. Free entertainment starts 1 p.m. in the park; Fireworks at 9:20 p.m. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Details, lineup at www.hometown4th.com.
Hundreds Attend 100th Celebration
Of Springfield Parade At State Park
The celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Springfield Fourth of July Parade continued that evening with a Jeff Walton concert and fireworks at Glimmerglass State Park. “The turnout was incredible – the very large parking lots at the park were overflowed, and the entire park was full of people,” reports Andrea House, a member of the organizing committee who provided the photos accompanying this article. Fritz Henry also performed. “The fireworks were fantastic, judging by the cheers from the crowd, and a fitting end to the day’s success,” House continued. She said the Fourth of July committee may consider making the concert and fireworks an annual event.
Otsego Lake Association Plans
First Fourth Of July Boat Show
COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego Lake Association will sponsor its first annual “We Love Our Lake” decorated, judged boat parade at 6 p.m. Friday, July 4, rain or shine.
Paticipating decorated boats will gather off-shore at Three Mile Point, three miles north of Cooperstown on West Lake Road, the start and finish of the parade route.
The SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station’s research vessel, Anondontoides,which will serve as a committee barge of judges and parade officials, will be moored off Three Mile Point.