Compiled by Tiffany Hyman
Fireworks and fun festivities will be held Saturday, July 2, through Monday, July 4.
The Spirit of Niagara Marching Band will once again perform on Old Falls Street in downtown from noon to 2 p.m.
Before the fireworks, enjoy the Dave Mason band at 8 p.m. at the Bear's Den Showroom at the Seneca Niagara Casino, 310 Fourth St. Tickets are $35 and available online at ticketmaster.com.
This year will feature the famous array of fireworks at the casino at approximately 9:40 p.m. at Seneca Square. The fireworks are free and open to the public. Rain date is Sunday, July 3.
The Hard Rock Café will also celebrate the holiday weekend as part of its "Hard Rock Saturdays" concert with Our Lady Peace.
Three Grand Island High School class reunions will be held. The Class of 1971's reunion will be held at Brick Oven Pizzeria, 2375 Grand Island Blvd., starting at 7 p.m. Pizza and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. The Class of 1976's reunion will be held at Grand Island Moose Lodge 180, 2524 Grand Island Blvd., beginning at 6 p.m. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be for sale along with a cash bar. The Class of 1986's reunion will be held at the Buffalo Launch Club, 503 E. River Road, from 7 to 11:30 p.m. Beer, wine, hors d'oeuvres and a hot dog roast will be offered.
•Town of Niagara
Fireworks will once again be held in Veterans Park, 7000 Lockport Road, at 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 3
Join the fun at the Old Fashioned Town Picnic to celebrate our country's birth from noon to 4 p.m. at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St. The event will include historical crafts, games, musical performances and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. The cost is $5 per person.
Join the Porter on the Lake "Summerfest" on Dietz Road for food, entertainment and fun activities from 2 to 11 p.m. Award-winning bands will perform, such as 90 West, JJ Swing and Rip and the Bandogs. The festival costs $5 per person.
Fireworks are shot off the west pier over Olcott Beach on Lake Road. The fireworks can be best seen at a distance from the Lake Ontario shoreline, Krull Park and Olcott while boats are sailing. The free event takes place at 10 p.m.
Monday, July 4
Grand Island will once again host its annual adult and children road races starting at 9 a.m. The races will be followed by the parade, starting roughly around 9:35 a.m. There will be no cross traffic between Whitehaven and Webb roads, no parking on Grand Island Boulevard, from the VFW to Whitehaven Road and from Baseline to Whitehaven roads.
The VFW Post No. 9249 Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial, 2121 Grand Island Blvd., will hold its annual Independence Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guests are invited to enjoy music by Sleepless City and a variety of food, including clams, hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, corn and beverages, such as beer and soda products.
Martin's Fantasy Island, 2400 Grand Island Blvd., will be open on the fourth for the whole family to enjoy, starting at 11:30 a.m. Locals and guests can enjoy the wide array of rides, the water park, live shows and the petting zoo.
Grand Island residents receive free admission after 5 p.m. Fireworks will begin at dusk. The Thruway on-ramp from Whitehaven to the I-190 northbound will be closed at 9 p.m. until the end of the fireworks.
"The 2011 display promises to be spectacular," said Supervisor Peter McMahon.
The Patriots Parade will take place beginning at Krull Park on Lake Road starting at 12:30 p.m. Children will march in the patriotic parade with the theme colors of the American flag: red, white and blue. The parade ends at Olcott Beach Carousel Park, 5979 Main St.
Darien Lake, 9993 Allegheny Road, will feature its famous "Laserlight Spectacular" at 10:10 p.m. followed by a Fourth of July tribute. Before the show, spend the day at the largest theme park in New York state. Darien Lake has more than 100 rides and attractions. Parks hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
And, of course, residents in the River Region can enjoy fireworks in the Village of Lewiston at dusk on Monday. Popular spots include Lewiston Hill, along Center Street and in the lower Niagara River (if you have a boat, of course).
The Thruway Authority announced construction will be suspended thusly:
The Buffalo Division, between Exit 45 (Rochester) to the Pennsylvania line, and the I-190 (Niagara Thruway) from noon on Thursday, June 30, through 1 a.m., Tuesday, July 5.
Also, the holiday traffic delays are most likely to occur at the Lackawanna and Williamsville toll barriers near Buffalo, and the I-190 (Niagara Thruway) Grand Island Bridge toll plazas northbound and southbound.