There is no better way to end a day of barbecuing, relaxing, and celebrating America’s independence with a group of friends, than with a bang - we’re talking fireworks of course! There are plenty of places within Ulster County that you can enjoy the grand illumination and sparkle of some top notch firework displays or, now that New York State and Ulster County have passed new firework legislation as of 2015, you may even be able to enjoy a ~small~ show from the comfort of your backyard. Fireworks are just the grand finale to an awesome day and Ulster County doesn't disappoint when it comes to fun holiday community events.
So if you’re looking to experience Independence Day in Ulster County like a local, pack a picnic, grab a blanket and some folding chairs and map out your perfect holiday weekend afternoon and evening with Taft Street Realty’s 2016 Fireworks Guide.
New Paltz Independence Day Fireworks & Music Celebration
Friday July 1st, 2016 at 5pm
Ulster County Fairgrounds, New Paltz, NY
Get the festivities started on Friday night in New Paltz with fun for the whole family. Food trucks, bounce houses and face painting for kids, and live music by The Saints of Swing and Soul Purpose will keep everyone busy until the grand finale fireworks show at dusk. Fairgrounds and activities open to the public at 5pm with free admission (Rain date will be Friday, July 8th). You can get more details and updates on this event here.
Saugerties Lumber Fireworks Extravaganza at Accord Speedway
Friday July 1st, 2016, Time TBA
Accord Speedway, Accord, NY
Get amped up for a Friday night of stock car racing with a chicken barbecue and a fireworks grand finale! Last year’s event benefited Sparrow’s Nest- a local charity that gives meals to families whose caregiver is battling cancer. Special race day admission prices will be in effect and you can check in for more details at Accord Speedway’s website as they are announced.
Walkway Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular
Saturday July 2nd, 2016 from 6:30pm -10:00pm
Walkway Over the Hudson, Highland/ Poughkeepsie, NY
Have you ever wanted to see what it would be like to have a bird’s eye view of a fireworks display? Watching fireworks while perched high atop the Hudson River on the Walkway Over the Hudson can give you that feeling. Both approaches of the walkway will be open to view the City of Poughkeepsie fireworks display, but tickets are required (The Walkway will close at 5:30 pm to all patrons and will reopen at 6:30 to those who have purchased tickets for entry). Rain date is Sunday, July 3rd. For more information and to buy your tickets now, visit www.walkway.org/4th-of-july-fireworks-spectacular
Fourth of July Pig Roast and Fireworks
Saturday July 2nd, 2016 from 4pm- 8pm
Benmarl Winery, Marlboro, NY
Join in the fun at Benmarl Winery’s annual 4th of July Pig Roast and BBQ and enjoy a traditional pig roast dinner with all the fixins’ and sweet treats for dessert. As the sun goes down, enjoy the Valley’s fireworks displays from Benmarl’s beautiful grounds. Wine, beer and Benmarl’s own Sangrias will be available for separate purchase. Tickets are required for the event, but kids 12 and under can attend for free. You can purchase your tickets here.
Old Fashioned Fun & Fireworks
Sunday July 3rd, 2016 from 6pm-10pm
Town Field, Vineyard Avenue, Highland, NY
Enjoy an old fashioned Highland ‘fair’ with local food vendors, games and bounce castle for the kids. There will be live music from the American Oak Band and DJ Rick Knight. Cap off the evening with fireworks at dusk! More information can be found at the Town of Lloyd’s Event page.
Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks
Monday July 4th, 2016 starting at 11am
Village of Saugerties and Cantine Field, Saugerties, NY
Keeping with tradition, the Saugerties Fire Department will be holding it’s annual 4th of July Parade and Fireworks display with this year’s theme being Colonial America: 1776. The parade kicks off at 11am where it can be seen winding through the village of Saugerties and afterwards the party continues at Cantine Field where fireworks round off the night at dusk. You can find more information about the parade at the Village of Saugerties’ website.
Fourth of July Fireworks & Celebration
Monday July 4th, 2016 at 9:30pm
T.R. Gallo Park, Kingston, NY
Live music and family festivities kick off Kingston’s Independence Day celebration down on the West Strand. Shuttle buses will be running for this always popular event. Fireworks sponsored by Manetti, Manetti & O’Connor will begin at dusk, but get there early to enjoy this huge community celebration! More details at the Kingston NY Happening’s page.
Ellenville Independence Day Celebration
Monday July 4th, 2016, Parade starts at 12pm, Fireworks at dusk
Liberty Square and Joseph Resnick Airport, Ellenville, NY
Join the Town of Wawarsing for Ellenville’s largest annual public event. Enjoy a parade with marching band, floats and arts and crafts vendors lining Liberty Square and the parade route. The celebration continues on into night at the Joseph Resnik airport for a free fireworks show.
Wallkill Fourth of July Parade
Monday July 4th, 2016 at 11am
Hamlet of Wallkill, Town of Shawangunk, NY
While the Town of Shawangunk won’t be setting off any fireworks at this event, the hamlet of Wallkill and surrounding areas can still enjoy the annual 4th of July parade, starting at the John G. Borden Middle School and following along Route 208.
The Fun Doesn’t Stop There | More Independence Day Events After July 4th:
Red, White & Blue Fireworks Extravaganza
Saturday July 9th, 2016 at 5pm
Thomas Felten Memorial Park, Modena, NY
Grab the family and a blanket for some encore fireworks on the 9th put on by the Town of Plattekill! There will be music, food, glow sticks and of course, fireworks at dusk. Rain date is Sunday, July 10th and more info can be found on the Town of Plattekill’s website.
A Fair Day in High Falls
July 16th 2016
Hamlet of High Falls, NY
While the details of this year’s event are still in the works, High Falls Fair Day promises to be another great community event! Last year’s Fair Day included the D&H Canal Society Flea Market, Field & Barn Antique market, plenty of local merchants and food vendors, a modern day scavenger hunt, children’s games, pie eating contest, dunk tank, live music, chicken BBQ and more! Get the details on how this year’s Fair is shaping up at High Fall’s Community Facebook page.
More ways to enjoy Ulster County fireworks
If you are traveling from out of town (or perhaps planning a holiday weekend stay-cation), guests staying at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz on the fourth of July weekend are in for a treat with special holiday weekend events including a parade, carnival and their own stellar fireworks show (These events are only for overnight guests, not open to the public, but who couldn’t use a night away anyhow?) Even if you can’t stay at the resort for all the events, the fireworks show can still be seen in various surrounding locations on either side of the mountain in New Paltz, High Falls and Accord so if you, or someone you know has a home with a view of Mohonk Tower, you’ll most likely still be able to see the show! In past years, the fireworks show has taken place right on the fourth, but as of this time, a 2016 schedule hasn’t been set (If you’re interested in getting the exact schedule, guest services at Mohonk Mountain House suggests giving them a call 3-4 days prior to the holiday weekend when the schedule of events should be finalized). Similarly, Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in Highland, NY will also be holding their own Independence day weekend events, exclusively for overnight guests, including a BBQ, live entertainment and fireworks display.
Backyard BBQs with friends can also be a great way to enjoy fireworks from the privacy of your own (or your friends’ own) homes- provided they are in a prime location. I’ve been lucky enough to watch Rocking Horse Ranch’s fireworks display from a friend’s house whose backyard borders the lake where fireworks are launched and there is no better front row seat to a display in the whole county! Gather a group of friends and host a party, utilizing your local area’s fireworks for entertainment, or create your own. Or if there’s less than stellar views from your homebase, head to a local restaurant to enjoy dinner and a fireworks show. Kingston’s fireworks can be viewed from Keegan Ales parking lot for example, and Mariners on the Hudson’s outdoor deck would make the perfect perch to watch the Walkway Extravaganza Fireworks in Highland down on the Hudson River!
If you want to see all the fireworks displays and Fourth of July parties going down this year all over the Hudson Valley, not just in Ulster County, check out this complete list and map, provided by local radio station, WRRV.
Do you have a favorite spot to watch Fourth of July fireworks? Have a secret viewing location that's too good to keep a secret anymore? Share it with us in the comments below!