Springfield Fourth of July to honor late beloved resident

The Ames Volunteer Fire Department’s float, complete with vintage fire trucks and a working fire hose, is seen in this 2018 file photo. Contributed

The 105th Springfield Fourth of July Parade and Celebration on Thursday will celebrate freedom and honor a recently deceased resident with a special tie to the holiday.

Bob Weaver, an East Springfield farmer who hosted fireworks at his farm for decades, will receive an appropriate tribute, as this year’s parade will be dedicated to him, according to a media release. 

Weaver died New Year’s Day, unexpectedly, at 66. According to his obituary in The Daily Star, he was a school board member for 31 years. For the past 15 years, he worked for the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. 

Weaver and his wife, Renee, ran Gray Gables farm as a dairy for many years and more recently grew vegetables and pumpkins for his roadside stand on Route 20. In recent years, he was known for his coffee meetings with fellow farmers to discuss ways to help their businesses. 

“To honor Bob’s memory, the fireworks this 4th of July will be dedicated to his memory. We know he’ll be watching with a big smile and maybe a cup of coffee,” the media release said.

This year’s theme is Let Freedom Ring, and the parade will begin at 11 a.m. One of the longest Fourth of July parades in upstate New York, it typically lasts about 90 minutes and features fire departments, school bands and civic organizations from around the region. 

This year’s grand marshals are Patricia and Allan Pullis, according to the media release. The Pullis family’s Roedale Farm was establish in 1950 in New Jersey and moved to the town of Springfield in the 1970s. It raises Holstein cows and grows hay.  

There will be music from the Camden Continentals Fife & Drum Corps, the Cooperstown Community Band and Fritz Henry. 

There will be limited parking for early birds at the Springfield Community Center, 129 county Route 29A in Springfield Center. There will also be activities there, including a flag-raising ceremony, Fourth of July quilt show, a Springfield Historical Society exhibit on the Revolutionary War Era, the Utica ZooMobile, Rosie the Clown, the Happy Haggs Dance Troupe, games and raffles. 

Food includes Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Que chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, home-made pie, strawberry shortcake, popcorn, lemonade, coffee and donuts.

There will also be fireworks in Springfield that night at Glimmerglass State Park. There will also be a concert, starting at 7:30 p.m., featuring The Burners.

There will be other fireworks and celebrations in the area, including: 

The other side of Otsego Lake will get its own fireworks, Friday, July 5. There will be a viewing party at Brookwood Point, just outside of Cooperstown in the town of Otsego on state Route 80. The fireworks are sponsored by the Cooperstown Volunteer Fire Department and are visible from Lakefront Park, The Otesaga Resort Hotel and other local parks and attractions.  

Oneonta’s annual Hometown 4th of July celebrations will begin at 9 a.m. at Neahwa Park with the parade beginning at noon. Oneonta Police Chief Douglas Brenner will be the grand marshal. 

There will also be food, music, vendors a bounce house and bubble-ball. The Oneonta Outlaws host the Adirondack Timbers in a free baseball game at 6 p.m. The fireworks show will begin about 9:30 p.m. 

In Gilbertsville, a celebration will mark three anniversaries: 243 years of independence from the British Empire, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion and the 74th year of the Gilbertsville American Legion Post 1339. The parade will begin at 9 a.m. with a ceremony to follow. There will be activities throughout the day at Gilbertsville’s Centennial Park on Spring Street and fireworks at night. 

There will fireworks in Margaretville as part of the Margaretville Fire Department’s Field Days, which are taking place this week through Sunday, July 7 from 1 to 9:30 p.m. There will be fireworks after dark on Thursday, July 4 and Saturday, July 6. There will also be beer and hard cider tastings, food and music during the week. The Antique Car Show will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, July 5. 

In Delhi, the fireworks will take place Friday, July 5 as part of the weekly Fair on the Square events on Fridays in July. Roadhouse will play music and there will be food, games and other activities beginning at 5 p.m.  

In Cobleskill, the Fourth of July party will include a parade down Main Street at 5 p.m. At the fairgrounds, there will be a cutest baby “‘Lil firecracker” contest, food and other vendors, music and fireworks starting after dark. 

Fireworks over the Fairgrounds will take place in Norwich at the Chenango County Fair grounds. The gates open at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 4. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the gate. Kids 12 and younger are free. There will be music, food, games, crafts and fireworks after dark.  

The National Baseball Hall of Fame will combine an Independence Day celebration with a program recognizing the 80th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous speech, which occurred on July 4, 1939. Go to https://baseballhall.org/events/Lou-gehrig-day-2019?date=0 for more information. 

Special programs will take place Thursday, July 4, at Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and The Farmers’ Museum just outside of Cooperstown from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Go to www.farmersmuseum.org/Independence-Day-July-4th-Celebration and www.hanfordmills.org/programs/events/independence-day/ for more information. 

The Old Stone Fort Museum in Schoharie will present a historic program including the first reading of the Declaration of Independence to the people of “Schohary,” which took place at the Fort, established four years earlier. Go to https://theoldstonefort.org/ for more information. 

The Catskill Conservatory will present A Quiet Concert for the Fourth, the 23rd annual Independence Day musical gathering and potluck supper at the historic Windfall Dutch Barn in Salt Springville, at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 4.

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