Park Minute: Ithaca, NY Fireworks

Ithaca 2014 fireworks from Cass Park

As seen from Cass Park

Ithaca’s Independence Day fireworks light show seems to be comfortable in its location near the Cayuga waterfront. The fireworks are launched from Newman Golf Course between Cayuga Inlet and Fall Creek and a big community celebration, including music, speeches, the national anthem, and food draws thousands to the shore of Cayuga Lake at Stewart Park to await the show. But thousands of others watch from around the valley, including from Cass Park across Cayuga Inlet, where I shot this video. The fireworks this year on July 3 might not have taken place as a torrential thunderstorm ripped across town in the hours just beforehand. But the sky cleared and the show went on. Many at Stewart Park complained that much of the show was masked by resulting smoke as it drifted toward the park. But by chance, the view from Cass Park was unobstructed.

Here’s a quick sample of the 2014 fireworks show in this episode of Park Minute!

Fireworks at Stewart Park

July 4 Fireworks at Stewart Park, Ithaca NY

The final rocket bursts over Ithaca while the full moon hangs in the heavens.

Ithaca, NY’s Independence Day fireworks show has returned to Ithaca! On July 2, the moonlit extravaganza erupted in the Newman Golf Course across Fall Creek from the fireworks festival in Stewart Park, on the shore of Cayuga Lake, which was dotted with boats appreciating the light show from the water. Watch some highlights, as it were, in this 7 minute, 36 second video and definitely hang in there for the finale!

Park of the Week: Newtown Battlefield

View of the Chemung Valley from Newtown Battlefield State Park near Elmira, NY

View of the Chemung Valley from Newtown Battlefield State Park

One of the largest military campaigns of the Revolution is often ignored by history–the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign in the Finger Lakes region of what is now NY State. In the late summer of 1779, several thousand Continental Army troops marched through the lake country burning 40 or more villages and destroying crops of the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee people, most of whom were aiding the British. This campaign led to the US’s claim on the area at the end of the war. The Finger Lakes and what is now central and western NY had been Iroquois territory and never was part of colonial America. See our more detailed post about this from February, 2012.

re-enactment of the Battle of Newtown, Newtown Battlefield State Park, Elmira, NY

Scene from a re-enactment of the Battle of Newtown. Source: I Love NY

The only full battle in the march occurred near what was then called Newtown, southeast of present-day Elmira. The clash is commemorated at Newtown Battlefield State Park on top of a big hill with beautiful views of the valley, a picnic area, and a small camping/cabin area. Find out more at the state park website.