ITHACA, N.Y. — The countdown has begun for the 2018 Ithaca Rotary Community Fireworks: the Tuesday, July 3 evening extravaganza of family entertainment, feasting and pyrotechnics above the parks, hills and waterways of this lakeshore town with a knack for celebration. Admission is free, thanks to donations by fireworks fans and generous underwriting by major sponsors. Rain date for the annual event is Thursday, July 5.
Fireworks partners — the City of Ithaca, Friends of Stewart Park and the Rotary Club of Ithaca—promise more fireworks, musical entertainment and an international array of food in both Stewart Park and Cass Park. And safe pre-Independence Day fun all around.
Recalling the decades-long tradition of community fireworks celebrations, Ithaca Mayor Svante L. Myrick proclaimed: “I love the fireworks! They bring everyone together to look, shoulder to shoulder, at the same night sky. Ithaca’s community fireworks has become again this town’s signature summertime celebration.”
Said Ithaca Rotary Club President June Losurdo: “It’s an honor to partner with the City and the Stewart Park group in such an impactful event. If you thought last year’s fireworks —the first one co-produced by Ithaca Rotary—was great, wait ‘til you experience this year’s edition!”
Friends of Stewart Park’s Rick Manning added: ”It’s exciting to have the Ithaca fireworks back in our lakeshore parks where they belong. Happy Independence Day, starting the night before!”
Because Ithaca pyrotechnics are launched (by the American Fireworks Company) from the city golf course, both Stewart and Cass parks are prime viewing spots —and that’s where the pre-show entertainment and food vendors are concentrated. Other viewing sites include Ithaca’s two hillside campuses, rooftops, and the lake itself.
Volunteers with donation buckets will circulate among fireworks viewers wherever they congregate on July 3. Donations also are appreciated ahead of time at specially marked canisters in banks and shops throughout the community. Even more convenient is the online GiveGab campaign.
Vehicle access to Stewart Park will be restricted the day of the event, with parking available at Ithaca High School and TCAT bus shuttles to and from Stewart Park, downtown and Cass Park. There’s plenty of parking at Cass Park, and fireworks viewers are urged to use designated pedestrian crossings over Route 89, a busy state highway.
Safety and security services are provided by Bangs Ambulance, Ithaca Police Department and Fire Department, and Tompkins County Sheriff. Dozens of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Ithaca and the community will help with logistics.
Featured image: File photo by Benjamin Jackson of 2016 community fireworks.