Ithaca Fireworks Set For Wednesday Evening

Booming sounds from South Hill on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 2, will be the all-clear signal for the 61st annual Ithaca Community Fireworks Show. Beginning at 2 p.m., an aerial salute that can be heard for miles around will be fired every hour on the hour by fireworks technicians as a reminder that the show is a “go.”Fran Benedict, chairman of the volunteer committee that organizes the annual fireworks show, said American Fireworks Manufacturing Co. of Utica and Ithaca has planned an aerial display to begin about 9:45 p.m.There will be several free pre-fireworks festivities on campus Wednesday night: * 6:30 p.m.: Classic cars on display in the college’s “Visitor” lot, courtesy of Car Pride of Ithaca. * 6:30 p.m.: RE/Max hot-air balloon rides on Allen Field (weather conditions permitting). The fireworks show is scheduled to begin at about 9:45 p.m., following the playing of the national anthem.If weather conditions Wednesday night are not favorable, area radio and television stations will carry an announcement of the rain date, which is July 3. If the fireworks show is postponed, most pre-fireworks activities will be moved to Thursday night.“Once again, Ithaca College has opened its campus parking lots, fields and facilities for the annual fireworks show, which will be visible from various points surrounding Ithaca,” Benedict said. “We appreciate the support and logistics provided by IC, along with the efforts of the many volunteers who make this annual event possible.”Spectators should plan to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion, which hits its peak at about 7:30 p.m. “Better yet,” Benedict said, “take a free TCAT bus from downtown to Ithaca College.”Shuttle buses will depart from the East Green Street shelter near the Tompkins County Public Library beginning at 6:30 p.m. They will return after the fireworks show, until 11:30 p.m. Buses will have priority exit routes following the fireworks.Motorists are reminded that there is no parking on state and county highways, especially on routes 13, 34, 79, 96, and 96-B. Police and public safety officials will help direct traffic, and firefighters from the Ithaca Fire Department will be on standby near the fireworks. Volunteers, including employees of Tompkins Trust Company, will be on South Hill to collect donations from the public. Only clearly identified volunteers are authorized to collect donations the night of the fireworks show, according to Benedict.“Just $4 from each person who watches the show — whether it’s from South Hill or surrounding hillsides, parks, and backyards — would help guarantee a fireworks show next year,” Benedict said. Individual, group, and business donations can be sent to the attention of Benedict at the Ithaca Commons office of Tompkins Trust Company. More information about the fireworks is available at communityfireworks.com.

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