With an abundance of historical and family-friendly local events on tap for this weekend, area individuals looking for a fun way to celebrate the Fourth of July should look no further than their own backyards, several local officials said this week.
“The weather is looking good for Friday,” said Carol Mandigo, chairman of the First Night Oneonta board, which is planning Oneonta's festivities on Friday and Saturday.
Highlights of the two-day celebration include fireworks, a parade, two free Oneonta Outlaws baseball games and the Tuff eNuff obstacle challenge course on Friday, and a skateboard competition and battle of the bands Saturday, Mandigo said.
Activities in Neahwa Park are planned from noon to 11 p.m. on Friday, July 4. The parade will be at noon Friday, with participants starting at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center on Market Street and making a path along Main Street before concluding in the park, Mandigo said. The Oneonta Outlaws games will be at 3:30 and 6 p.m. and fireworks will start at 9:20 p.m.
Mandigo said she still needs up to 100 volunteers to carry puppets in Friday's parade. Anyone interested in helping out, including children, should come to Foothills at 11:30 a.m.
A highlight of the parade will be its grand marshall, Oneonta resident Rich Murphy, former vice-chairman of the Otsego County board.
“He's an all-around good guy who has done a lot for the community and this is our way of recognizing him,” said David Hayes, a member of the First Night Oneonta board. “He has done so much, especially for Oneonta Little League.”
Neahwa Park will be filled with vendors and family-friendly activities both Friday and Saturday, Mandigo said. Cosmic Karma Fire demonstrations, Mike the Juggler and the Reminiscers Classic Car Club are on the lineup, along with activities such as bounce-house inflatables and a children's activity area, plus games and arts and crafts.