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Friday, July 03, 2009

Chautauqua County Independence Day Events

By Rich Place,
The Fourth of July is always a celebration. With Independence Day falling on a Saturday this year, the timing seems just right for even better parties, barbecues and fireworks displays. Villages around the lake are not going to disappoint, with plenty of events and pyrotechnic spectaculars to make the most of the weekend.
Those familiar with the Monster Energy Drink Zamboni at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena might want to check out the Floating Stage at the Italian Fisherman on Saturday. An opportunity to get a free picture taken with the Zamboni will be available throughout the day.
There will also be the first-ever Bemus Point snowball fight, the ''Shoot to Win'' hockey game and a special appearance by the Jamestown Jets and Grand Island ice skater Taylor Firth.
As evening sets in, Elvis will be taking to the Floating Stage, as impersonator Rick Alviti will perform his award-winning Elvis tribute show at 7 p.m. The night ends with a fireworks display after the concert at 10 p.m.
The flares around the lake event will be held on Saturday at 9:45 p.m. All are welcome to drive around the lakes on that evening to see the flares lit up.
The annual boat parade is returning for Independence Day this year at Findley Lake, a tradition started 19 years ago. As in the past, spectators can watch boats, decorated in a college football theme this year, and vote on the winners. The scheduled start time for the race is 2 p.m.
The Findley Lake Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a chicken barbecue lunch, and all of the shops and restaurants throughout town will be open.
Finally, fireworks will be displayed over Findley Lake at 10 p.m.
The 2009 Firecracker Run, hosted by the Lakewood Family YMCA, will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday in Hartley Park. Registration is $20 the day of the race. The kids' race is at 9:30 a.m., and registration is free.
The village is also celebrating Summerfest, beginning at 2 p.m. Vendors offering a wide variety of foods, gifts and crafts will line Chautauqua Avenue. Live Music by ''Party Squad'' and a barbecue at Yesterday's Restaurant will also take place from 2 to 5 p.m.
Music will be provided in Hartley Park at 5 p.m. until Zambelli Fireworks caps off the night at 10 p.m. with its pyrotechnic display.
Little Valley Speedway is offering its Freedom Daze doubleheader, which features racing and fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights.
The racing begins at 7 p.m. on Friday and features the ULMB Super Late Models racing for $3,000. Other divisions racing tonight are the 360 Late Models, the Street Stocks and Mini Stocks. A fireworks display will follow the evening's action.
On Saturday, a duo of demolition derbies will begin at 7:30 p.m. A large car demo will take to the track first, as competitors try to decimate their opponents for the $1,000 cash prize and a $350 best in show. The small-car demo will follow and pays $500 to the winner and $200 for best in show. A fireworks spectacular will follow the derbies.
A Fourth of July parade will begin at 10 a.m., with the theme ''Patriot Pride.''
After the parade, festivities begin at noon in Mayville Lakeside Park, with family entertainment including kiddy rides, face painting,a petting zoo, pony rides and more. Live music, magic shows and a water play area will all be offered during the afternoon.
The night will conclude with a fireworks display at 10 p.m. by Premier Pyrotechnics.
If you are looking for holiday entertainment in theme park fashion on Saturday, Midway State Park in Maple Springs is offering Ride-A-Rama Wristbands for only $19.50 for unlimited ride access from noon until 10 p.m. Splash-A-Rama Wristbands, valid in the water park from noon to 10 p.m., are avaliable for $24.50.
Midway is also hosting a free concert by the Untouchables from 7 to 10 p.m., followed by a Laser Light Show.

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