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Fourth of July in New York: 1 State, 12 Ways

A long weekend! Barbecues! Picnics! Fireworks! America’s birthday is synonymous with the best that summer has to offer. It’s a time to celebrate our 1776 independence from Great Britain and, falling just a few weeks after the official start to summer, to embrace the rising temperatures, gather with friends and enjoy the outdoors. As a state with the largest fireworks display in the country, New York is no stranger to a memorable 4th of July bash. From oceanfront and riverview fireworks to weekend-long festivities, there is no shortage of celebrations across the State — and NYSOM has compiled a statewide guide for being true to the red, white and blue in each of New York’s 12 regions:

ADIRONDACKS: 4th of July in Long Lake

  • What: A BBQ complete with North Country Kettle Corn, live music by local cover band The Bad Chaperones and fireworks over Long Lake. View the show from the beach, your boat or the nearby Mt. Sabattis pavilion and picnic area.
  • Where: Long Lake Town Beach in Hamilton County at the center of Adirondack Park.
  • When: July 4th at 5 p.m.
  • Why: Springsteen and Queen hits are part of The Bad Chaperones’ repertoire, which can only mean one thing: dance party.
  • Cost: FREE

CAPITAL-SARATOGA: Price Chopper Presents New York State’s 4th of July Celebration

  • What: An Albany tradition since 1976 with food vendors and live music by the US Military Academy, headliner Johnny Rivers and more. Plus, a fireworks extravaganza at dusk.
  • Where: Empire State Plaza in Albany.
  • When: July 4th from 3 - 10 p.m.
  • Why: The event kicks off with the naturalization of 10 new U.S. citizens. What could be more American than that?
  • Cost: FREE

CATSKILLS: Independence Day Celebration at Windham Mountain

  • What: A parade marches to the base lodge at Windham Mountain to kick off the evening’s highlights, which include a BBQ, DJ and fireworks.
  • Where: Windham Mountain Ski Resort in Windham, NY.
  • When: July 4th at 7 p.m.
  • Why: Because ski resorts aren’t just meant for winter. (Oh and, margaritas will be on tap at area restaurant Rock’n Mexicana).
  • Cost: FREE to attend, though there is a cost for food.

CENTRAL NEW YORK: 31st Annual M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest

  • What: Three days of live jazz with fireworks on the 4th at 9 p.m. The lineup includes both local bands and nationally acclaimed acts.
  • Where: Jamesville Beach Park in Syracuse.
  • When: July 4th - 6th. Gates open at  2p.m. each day.
  • Why: This (free!) three-day fest lets local jazz ensembles (including Liverpool and Oswego High Schools) share the stage with the likes of the Doobie Brothers and Taylor Dayne.
  • Cost: FREE.

CHAUTAUQUA-ALLEGANY: 4th of July at Allegany State Park’s Quaker Beach

  • What: A lakeside Independence Day bash with food and fireworks. Bring your lawn chairs or a picnic blanket.
  • Where: Quaker Beach at Allegany State Park (New York’s largest State park).
  • When: July 3rd from 4 - 10:30 p.m.
  • Why: Because here, 4th of July starts a day early.
  • Cost: FREE

FINGER LAKES: Canandaigua 4th of July Celebration

  • What: An all-day affair with a parade on Main Street, community picnic at Kershaw Park and live music by local, five-piece rock band TARAN. Fireworks light up the sky during the band’s intermission, then the music kicks back up until 11 p.m.
  • Where: Kershaw Park in Canandaigua.
  • When: July 4th from 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
  • Why: Because Canandaigua clearly knows how to party.
  • Cost: FREE

HUDSON VALLEY: Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular

  • What: A view of the Poughkeepsie fireworks from Walkway Over the Hudson. Gather some friends, pack a picnic (and chairs) and head out to the bridge to watch the sunset and pyrotechnic display.
  • Where: Walkway Over the Hudson State Park, between Poughkeepsie and Highland.
  • When: July 4th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Why: Not everyone can say they’ve watched fireworks high above the Hudson River.
  • Cost: $10

LONG ISLAND: Stars Over Montauk

  • What: An oceanside fireworks display.
  • Where: Umbrella Beach in Montauk.
  • When: July 4th at dusk.
  • When: Because you can easily make a day of it. Head to Montauk Chamber Farmers Market on the town green (across from the Chamber Building at 742 Montauk Highway) and pack a picnic for a day — and night — at the beach.
  • Cost: FREE

NEW YORK CITY: 37th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

  • What: The largest fireworks display in the country.
  • Where: The Hudson River between West 24th and West 50th Streets. For the best viewing locations, click HERE.
  • When: July 4th at 8 p.m.
  • Why: The show features more than 40,000 fireworks that will light up the sky to a 25-minute score hand-picked by Usher. (For those who can’t see in person, the show will be televised live on NBC and will include performances by Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey and more.)
  • Cost: FREE

SOUTHERN TIER: Hammondsport Fireman’s Carnival

  • What: A three-day carnival hosted by the Hammondsport Fire Department with a parade and BBQ, games of chance, even a bike giveaway. A fireman’s parade marches from the Village Square to Champlin Beach on Saturday, where the Carnival ends with a fireworks celebration.
  • Where: Hammondsport Carnival Grounds. Fireworks at Champlin Beach.
  • When: Carnival opens July 4th at 1 p.m. Fireworks are on Saturday, July 6th at dusk.
  • Why: Two days of celebration plus the chance to win a bike! A no brainer.
  • Cost: Daily wristbands are required for the carnival, starting at $15.

THOUSAND ISLANDS-SEAWAY: Fireworks Over Boldt Castle

  • What: Fireworks over the St. Lawrence River at one of the Region’s major tourist attractions, Boldt Castle. It was owned by George Boldt in the early 20th century, the original general manager of the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC, and is now part of the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.
  • Where: Boldt Castle is on Heart Island in Alexandria Bay.
  • When: July 4th at 9:45 p.m.
  • Why: You can view the display from the shores of Alexandria Bay or from your own boat in the St. Lawrence River. A bonus? Canada is basically a stone’s throw away, giving these fireworks (unofficial) international status.
  • Cost: FREE

WESTERN NEW YORK: 4th of July at Canalside

  • What: A fireworks show at the heart of Buffalo’s waterfront revitalization, which follows an hour-long performance by the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band, a 70+ member orchestra.
  • Where: Canalside in Buffalo, at the intersection of Pearl St. and Marine Drive.
  • When: July 4th at 9 p.m.
  • Why: It’s the perfect spot to celebrate America’s birthday, as well as the re-birth of Buffalo’s once bustling waterfront.
  • Cost: FREE
Where will you be celebrating Independence Day this year? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #NYSOM.

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