October 21, 2021

County to amp up annual fireworks show at Dwyer park

Ready to have a blast

Bob Ellis/file photo

Dwyer Memorial Park is alight with fireworks in this file photo.

Cortland County’s Fourth of July firework show is being expanded this year, said Eric Mulvihill, clerk of the Cortland County Legislature.

“We are increasing the length of the show to 25 minutes,” Mulvihill said. “Young’s Explosives of Rochester is back. They have done it the last three to four years.”

The county Independence Day Fireworks at Dwyer Memorial Park are set for July 3 with a July 5 rain date.

“We’re going to have music throughout the day from local musicians, starting at 1 p.m.,” Mulvihill said. That will go till 8 p.m. and the fireworks will start at dark.

Admission is free, but parking is $5, starting at 11 a.m. Get there early, Mulvihill said because cars will be turned away once the park reaches capacity.

“Traditionally, for many, many years, better than 10 years, we have spent $5,000 on fireworks. We have increased the fund to $12,000. Money comes from occupancy tax funds, specifically what the county was able to settle from the Ramada,” Mulvihill said. The facility has changed hands and the hotel paid back occupancy taxes it owed.

“We see this as a component of tourism. We know folks will come to town that day and spend a little money while here,” he said.

The line-up of bands:
1 to 2 p.m. — Stiv Morgan.
2:15 to 3:30 p.m. — Steve Daniels Trio.
3:45 to 4:45 p.m. — Heaters.
5 to 6:30 p.m. — Tribal Revival.
6:30 to 8 p.m. — Cortland Old Timers Band.

Food trucks, including the Cortland Crush Doghouse and Alexander’s Food Truck from Groton, will sell food. The Cortland Repertory Theatre Guild will sell desserts, ice cream and candy out of the pavilion.

“We are using this opportunity not only to bolster the annual fireworks display, but it’s a chance to get folks up to the park who have not seen the renovations and improvements at (Dwyer),” Mulvihill said.

The pavilion has a new paint job, roof, gutters, benches and more, thanks to state grant funding and county labor. Artists are repainting the circus wagon, and it will be completed by July 3. A Boy Scout Eagle Scout project landscaped and painted bridges. And county crews built 34 new picnic tables over the past two winters.

Homer Iron Works is making seven new hibachi grills. Legislator Linda Jones (RHomer) is raising money to replace or repair stone fireplaces.

Call 607-423-6653 to help or see efforts on facebook.com/friendsofdwyerpark/.

Jones’ next goal is a regulation horse shoe pit. She oversees an advisory board that prioritizes work at the park. When the repairs are done, she wants to make a regular maintenance schedule.

“People are so excited,” she said. “People love that park.”