The area forecast for the Fourth of July weekend is for showers and fireworks.

In Oneonta, the 17th annual Hometown Fourth of July Celebration will be Saturday, with activities in Neahwa Park starting at noon and fireworks set off at dusk. The rain date is Sunday, organizers said.

Today, city of Oneonta, Otsego County and Delaware County offices will be closed for the holiday, officials said, and they will re-open Monday. Otsego County offices started closing at 4 p.m., an hour early, for summer hours that continue through Aug. 31, officials said. The Oneonta MOSA transfer station, including the recycling site, will be open today but closed Saturday.

Mail will be delivered today, but many post offices will close today at noon, and no regular mail deliveries will be made Saturday, the Postal Service website said.

Celebrations of the nation's independence throughout the area will feature parades, barbecues, activities for families and tourist attractions.

The National Weather Service forecast for today is for a 60 percent chance of precipitation and a high near 71 degrees.

On Saturday, the NWS forecasts a 30 percent chance of precipitation, with showers and thunderstorms after noon and a high near 71 degrees. On Saturday night, the skies will be mostly cloudy, the NWS said, and there is a 20 percent chance of showers. The low temperature is forecast at 52 degrees.

The forecast for Sunday is partly sunny skies, a high near 75 degrees, and partly cloudy skies at night and a low of 52 degrees, the NWS website said.

Carla Balnis, business manager of the Central Radio Group, said the Hometown Fourth festivities in Neahwa Park offer a variety of music and activities. The event is the community's biggest annual fundraiser for local nonprofit organizations, she said, and this year, about 30 vendors will sell food or present activities, including inflatable games and face-painting.

Attendance last year was 4,000 to 5,000, Balnis said, and this year, organizers hope 5,000 to 6,000 people stop by the park. Results depend much on the weather, she said.

``We'll hope for the best,'' Balnis said.

Organizers will consult early Saturday with Oneonta Fire Chief Robert Barnes to decide to go ahead with the festival or postpone it until Sunday, she said, and the decision will be announced on WZOZ, WSRK and WDOS radio stations.

Either day, Balnis said, the schedule includes:

ä Musicians performing at the Showmobile near Hodges Pond, with White Stone at noon, Jr. Idol winners at 2 p.m., Dropdown at 3:30 p.m. and Roundhouse Rockers at 7 p.m. The Jr. Idol winners singing will be Natalie Yambor, 19, of Franklin; Jaclyn Poss, 19, of Walton; and Khalil Carney, 13, of Morris.

ä An antique car show at Damaschke Field from noon to 2 p.m., when it will relocate near the historic Caboose near the pond.

ä The Oneonta Tigers playing at 6 p.m.; spectators contributing a canned food will be admitted free, she said.

ä Fireworks launched over Field 1 at dusk.

Also in Oneonta, Polar Bear Homemade Ice Cream Concessions will park its double-decker trailer from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday at Main and Grand streets. Patrons contributing a nonperishable food contribution for area charities will receive free ice cream, a media release said.

Other events scheduled around area

In Margaretville, the Annual Fireman's Field Days continue today through Sunday, with fireworks planned for tonight and Saturday, a chamber of commerce website said.

The Roxbury Sidewalk Festival will be on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, Springfield Center is among communities to feature a parade, and The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown plans a ``Grand Old 4th of July'' celebration based on life in 1845. Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith plans ``old-fashioned family fun'' celebration Saturday.

Other details about activities are available at websites of area organizations, including:

ä Sweet Home Productions:

ä Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce:

ä Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce:

The following is a schedule of known Fourth of July fireworks displays scheduled in The Daily Star's coverage area. All are weather permitting with rain dates listed if available.

Canandarago Lake, Saturday; rain date, Sunday.

Cobleskill, Schoharie County Fairgrounds, Saturday.

Cooperstown, Lake Front Park, today; rain date, Sunday.

East Branch, Fire Department Field, today and Saturday.

Margaretville, Village Pavilion, today at 9:30 p.m.; Saturday at 10:15 p.m.

Norwich, Chenango County Fairgrounds, East Main Street, Saturday.

Oneonta, Neahwa Park, Saturday; rain date, Sunday.

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