Ready to celebrate the red, white and blue in Cortland County? Our 4th of July plans may look a little different compared to past years, but there is no reason why they can't be just as fun with a socially distant twist.
Whether you want to stay at home, or hit the town, we've put together some ideas on how to safely celebrate America's independence.
Make a festive craft.
If you're feeling artsy and patriotic, plan a holiday-themed DIY project at the Finger Lakes Tasting & Tap Room! Ashley from Cheerful & Creative will be leading a paint 'n sip event on Wednesday, July 1 where you can paint a Little York Flag. Admission is just $30 which includes a free beverage. Advanced tickets are required - click here to purchase tickets.
Screen a movie outside.
If you're looking for a movie with more explosions than a Fourth of July fireworks show, plan a trip to Greek Peak Mountain Resort for a screening of Independence Day (1996, PG-13). Join them for this action-packed film Thursday through Saturday night in the Adventure Center parking lot. Come hungry and enjoy carside delivery from TRAX2GO. Just text TRAX to 33733 when you arrive to place your order. If you don't text, feel free to give them a call at (607) 662-3039.
Admission costs $20 for each car. Parking will be available on a first-come, first-served bases, with gates opening at 7:30 p.m. More information on Greek Peak's website.
Find a fireworks show.
We can all agree it isn't a 4th of July celebration without fireworks! Experience Cortland teamed up with the Cortland County Legislature to host Cortland County's annual July 3rd fireworks celebration, however it has been moved to an alternate location and it will be without additional activities or entertainment. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the show will be held east of the city of Cortland at an undisclosed location, providing an excellent view from nearly every vantage point in town. The fireworks show begins on Friday, July 3 at 10:15 p.m. More information on the event can be found here.
Dive into the history books.
You're all invited to join in a community-wide commemoration of the 244rd birthday of the United States of America! Gather at the Center for the Arts of Homer for the 25th Annual Public Reading of the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4th. Starting at 10 a.m., Charles W. Jermy, Jr. and Charles W. Jermy III will recount the circumstances that led up to the Declaration’s adoption in 1776 and talk briefly about document’s structure. After describing the fates of some of the signers, they will invite those in attendance to read short portion of the Declaration aloud.
Following the reading, a cannon will be fired and the bells in the buildings surrounding the Homer Green will be rung fifty times. The Center’s 1874 37-inch Meneely Bell will be joining the other four bells for the first time in several years.
Listen to live music.
That's right, we said live music! Catch Johnny & Lonnie at the brand new Homer Hops Brewing tasting room at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3. Masks must be kept on at all times except when patrons are consuming food or drinks. Keep an eye out for more live music updates as they are announced.
Host a (small) backyard BBQ.
Why not impress your family and quarantine buddies with a summer cookout? Grab some fresh ingredients for your Fourth of July backyard BBQ at one of our local markets. Anderson's Farm Market and Trinity Valley Dairy Farm have a wide selection of baked goods, summer fruits and veggies, burgers for your grill and more. Remember to stop by before the holiday as businesses may be closed on the 4th. If you need some last minute grocery items, you can also stop by the Virgil Farmers Market or Cortland City Farmers Market on Saturday, or swing by The Local Food Market on Main Street, Cortland.
Turn over the cooking duties to a local eatery.
Though 4th of July celebration usually revolve around a backyard grill loaded with burgers, there are plenty of restaurants open over the weekend if washing dirty dishes isn't on the menu. While some restaurants have opened their dining rooms and outdoor patios (at limited capacity), many are also offering carryout. Get some items to-go and bring them back home or to a local park for a socially-distance summer picnic. If you plan on sticking around, we suggest giving your local restaurant a call a couple days in advance to make reservations.
Ways to stay safe during the holiday.
1. Continue to social distance by staying 6 feet away from others, especially if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
2. Continue to wear cloth face coverings in public, especially when social distancing is difficult.
3. Follow guidelines for Cortland County when it comes to how large gatherings can be. Avoid crowds and mass gatherings.
4. Clean and disinfest frequently touched surfaces daily.
5. Stay home if you're sick!
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