January 18, 2022

Feeling like July Fourth

As pandemic fades, festivities returning to normal

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Shana Snyder, of Groton, paddles a kayak Wednesday toward Green Lake near Dwyer Park in Preble. The park will host music, food and a fireworks display Saturday as part of a Fourth of July celebration.

The COVID-19 pandemic last year changed how many Cortland County Independence Day events were planned, if they occurred at all.

This year, with almost half the people in Cortland County vaccinated and restrictions loosening, the festivities will more closely resemble what they were in 2019.

Fireworks and bands will return Saturday to Dwyer Park in Preble on Saturday, said Savannah Hempstead, the Cortland County public information officer. From 2 to 10 p.m., visitors can listen to music from local bands and get food from vendors and food trucks.

Additionally, a wine and beer garden will be set up.

“It’s nice to get back to putting on events and putting on events for the community,” Hempstead said.

Due to COVID gathering restrictions, the county had a remote fireworks display in 2020 that prevented people from gathering, she said. Music and other activities were canceled, too.

This year, fireworks will be set off at dark, somewhere between 9:30 to 10 p.m., she said.

Admission is free, parking is $5.

Events are also planned in Groton, Cincinnatus, Lansing, Virgil and Homer.

Independence Day events Friday

  • Groton: A fireworks display will begining at dark near Old Stage Road between Clark and Lick streets. Follow signs for parking.
  • Cincinnatus: Fireworks will be at dusk Friday at Fireman’s Field. Saturday
  • Preble: Music, food and fireworks will be 2 to 10 p.m. at Dwyer Park. Parking is $5.
  • Lansing: Fireworks at dusk south of Myers Park. Sunday
  • Virgil: Fireworks will be at dusk at Hope Lake Park. Dan the Snakeman will also be there from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Homer: Reading of the Declaration of Independence at 2 p.m. at the Center for the Arts of Homer. Admission is free.

Weather for this weekend will feature a mixture of clouds and rain, said Mike Kistner, the lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Binghamton office. The high temperature Saturday will be in the low 70s with the chance of rain increasing Saturday afternoon.

While any rain won’t create a washout, Kistner said people “just got to be alert for any afternoon storms that could come up.”

Sunday will see skies clearing with temperatures in the low-to mid-70s. Monday should be fairly sunny with temperatures in the low 80s.

The National Fire Protection Association reminds all those grilling to follow basic safety tips:

  • Make sure your gas grill is working properly and is not leaking.
  • Never leave grills unattended and extinguish grills when done.
  • Keep grills at least 3 feet from flammable objects, pets and children.
  • Use only starter fluid to ignite charcoal.
  • If any type of fire breaks out, call 911 immediately.

For your pets

Not every pet appreciates Independence Day as much as you might. So here are some tips:

If your pet fears loud noises:

  • Play soft music and move your pet into an interior room with no windows.
  • Try an anxiety vest or snugly fitting T-shirt.
  • If you and your veterinarian agree on anti-anxiety mediation, give a practice dose a day or two early to see how your pet responds. Never share the medicine with another animal or give more than the recommended amount.
  • Cats can have noise phobias, too. Cats tend to hide when frightened. Check in on your cat, play some quiet music and keep them indoors.

If your pet is the type to taste new and unusual things:

  • Dogs will eat almost anything, including fireworks. Never underestimate your pet’s curiosity.
  • Fireworks contain a variety of chemicals and heavy metals. If you set off fireworks at home, make sure you thoroughly clean the area before letting your dog have access again.