The following is a republished press release and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact us at 

All eyes are on the waterfront for the 2017 Ithaca Rotary Community Fireworks the night of Monday, July 3.

The Ithaca Rotary Community Fireworks Celebration will take place from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Monday, July 3 at Stewart Park. Food trucks and vendors open at 6 p.m. The Jeff Love Band will play from 9 to 9:45 p.m. Fireworks launch at 9:45 p.m. In case of rain, everything will be rescheduled to July 5.

Here are five things to know about Ithaca’s fireworks not-on-the-fourth:

1. Why not?

“More bang for the buck” is the negotiation strategy when contracting pyrotechnics the night before (the Fourth of July holiday) or the day after (rain date is July 5 this year).  In the decades-long history of Ithaca community fireworks (variously at Cornell, Ithaca College, and now the Cayuga Lake waterfront) not-the-fourth has (almost) always been the rule and (probably) always will.

2. O say can you see?

The launch site (Ithaca’s city golf course) makes Stewart Park and Cass Park the most proximate viewing spots.  Elevated lookouts with unobstructed views around town attract some fireworks watchers, while boaters take to the lake. Vehicle access to Stewart Park will be restricted the day of the event, with parking available at Ithaca High School—and TCAT buses looping from downtown, via IHS, to Stewart Park—where musical entertainment is the Jeff Love Band.

3. Who pays?

No one and everyone, according to Rotary Club of Ithaca President Dale Johnson. “Thanks to our growing list of major sponsors—currently including Tompkins Trust Company, Cornell University, Cayuga Radio Group, M&T Bank and Bangs Ambulance— for doing the heavy lifting on this popular event. That way, net proceeds of all donations — the night of the show, beforehand at multiple locations around town and on the Ithaca Rotary Community Fireworks website — help to support Ithaca Rotary’s Community Grants program. Admission is always free,” Johnson adds, “but these shows depend on community support.”

4. Will my family starve?

Not with licensed food vendors (Silo Truck, Sweet Melisa’s Ice Cream, On the Street Pita, Trumansburg Rotary BBQ. Copper Horse Coffee, Dos Amigos) on site. Ithaca Rotary Community Fireworks official vendors have your back and tummy, too.

5. Is this safe?

Safety and security services are provided by Bangs Ambulance, Ithaca Police Department and Fire Department, and Tompkins County Sheriff. Dozens of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Ithaca and the community will help with logistics. (The hyper-organized service club has work groups on everything from safety and security, fundraising, and publicity to cleanup/trash/recycling, and has been prepping for months.)

Bonus: Who cares?

Famed fireworks fan and Ithaca Mayor Svante L. Myrick, for one.  “The City of Ithaca is delighted to partner with the Rotary Club of Ithaca and Friends of Stewart Park to continue the time-honored tradition of community fireworks for residents and visitors to our town,” the mayor says. “This year’s edition promises to be bigger and better than ever!”

Featured image: File photo by Benjamin Jackson of 2016 community fireworks.