Without fail, Independence Day serves up a heaping of barbecue and a dollop of nostalgia. Memories of gazing at (or running from, in my case) fireworks as a child, sipping beers in college, sprawling on fields and more come flooding back to us with the scent of charred hot dogs and the beeps and whoops of parades. Buffalo, where people fill their summer days to the brim with activities and sun, offers an abundant menu of Fourth of July events. It’s the opportunity to continue a tradition, start a new one or switch it up. Scan through our guide and discover what celebrations will be underway near you. Get in the action, wear your pride and make some memories.
Freedom Daze Pro Stock Tractor Pull, 7:30-11 p.m. at Little Valley Speedway (501 Erie St., Little Valley). Fireworks follow. Cost: $8 for adults, free for children under 8.
Family Beach Party and fireworks, 4-10 p.m. at Quaker Beach in Allegany State Park. Chicken barbecue, “Ask the Naturalist” from 4 to 6 p.m. and performance by Goodbye Dawn at 7 p.m., followed by fireworks.
Independence Day 2016 throughout East Aurora. Kids foam bath from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Hamlin Park; parade at 7 p.m. along Main and Riley streets; Jest for Laughs at 7:45 p.m. at the Rotary Bandstand; music by Krossfire at 8 p.m. in Hamlin Park; and fireworks at 10 p.m. Rain date: July 4.
The 22nd annual KeyBank Independence Eve Celebration with the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field. Games vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 6:05 p.m. Post-game concert by Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, followed by fireworks. Tickets are $27 (bisons.com).
The sixth annual Liberty Fest, 3:30-10:30 p.m. in Collins Town Park. Highlights include face painting, music, a caricaturist, a photo booth, a chicken barbecue and concessions. Fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino fireworks show, 9:40 p.m. Rain date: July 8.
Fireworks over Lake Ontario, 10 p.m. Best viewed from Lake Ontario shoreline, Krull Park and Olcott.
Dedication Ceremony honoring the resident combat veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf wars, 5:30 p.m. at Kenney Field (2000 Colvin Blvd., Town of Tonawanda). Music by American Legion Band of the Tonawandas at 7:15 p.m, and fireworks at 10 p.m. Bring a folding chair. Rain date: July 5.
University at Buffalo fireworks over Lake LaSalle. Music at 7 p.m., and the Erie County Wind Ensemble at 8:45 p.m. Fireworks at 10 p.m. near Baird Point, North Campus, Amherst. Rain date: July 19, Bassett Park in Amherst.
The 38th annual Picnic in the Park, noon-5 p.m. in Centennial Park, at Richmond and Ellicott avenues, Batavia. Arts, culture and heritage celebration. Kids should arrive by 10:45 a.m. to decorate their bikes for the Kiddie Parade. New this year: balloon sculptures by the Rochester duo Airigami.
Fourth of July celebration, 2-10 p.m. at Canalside. Food trucks and kids activities from 2 to 6 p.m., and entertainment starting at 2 p.m. with George Scott Big Band, followed by Lehrer Dance, Tiger Chung Lee and Outer Circle Orchestra. Flag folding ceremony and honor guard at 9:15 p.m.; fireworks at 10 p.m.
The 4th @ Riverside, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at George Washington Club (2805 Niagara St.), parade at 1 p.m. from Hertel to Roesch avenues, flag retirement ceremony at 2:30 p.m. at AMVETS Post (25 Review Place), free concert by Mystery Hill at 7 p.m. at AMVETS Post.
Boys & Girls Club (2090 Girdle Road) fireworks show at dusk. Parking available at the Iroquois School lots.
Red, White & Blue Day at Martin’s Fantasy Island. Free rides for kids in restored princess carriage. Visitors are encouraged to wear red, white and blue. Admission is $17.76. Fireworks at dusk. More fun: Annual Dick Bessel Independence Day Run at 9 a.m.
Fireworks, 8 p.m. at Lewiston Escarpment
Parade and fireworks display, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at Lakeside Park. Parade at 10 a.m., followed by music, food and other activities. Fireworks at 10 p.m.
Fantastic Fourth, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford. Traditional family activities like a sack race, farm animals (including the new baby piglets), pie-eating contests, ladies baseball, music by the Geneseo Cornet Band, an 1876 grand parade with Uncle Sam and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Swearing in of 50 new American citizens is 11 a.m. at Town Hall. Admission is $20 for adults, $12 for youths 4-16 and $17 for seniors and students with ID. Free for ages 3 and younger. Info: gcv.org, 585-294-8218.
Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls, N.Y., fireworks show, 10 p.m. (Displays are every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night through Oct. 31.)
Patriots Parade, 12:30 p.m. in Olcott. Meet at Krull Park by noon and march to Olcott Beach Carousel Park. Free ice cream and ride ticket for participants
Annual Independence Day Parade and Annual Fourth of July Fireworks. Parade at 8 p.m. on East Quaker Street between Baker Road and Orchard Park Middle School; Harvard Cup award to best neighborhood float. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. at the Middle School.
July 4th in the Tonawandas, 7 p.m.-9:45 p.m. Concert by Sugar N Jazz at 7 p.m. at the Niawanda Park’s Miller Bandshell. Fireworks at 9:45 p.m. at Tonawanda Island. Rain date: July 5.
Summer Music Festival, July 1-3 at Holiday Valley Resort (6557 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville). Arts and crafts fair, music and food. July 1: Rusted Root ($35); July 2, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performing to the fireworks ($40); July 3, 38 Special ($40). VIP Package is $340 and includes tickets to the Sponsors Party and VIP gala dinner.
Independence Days, July 1-3 in the Save-A-Lot Parking Lot. July 1: Midway and beer garden from 6 to 11 p.m.; the Strangers from 7 to 11 p.m. July 2: Patriotic Paws Parade at 9 a.m.; Carnival Kids Steel Drum Orchestra from 4 to 6 p.m.; West of the Mark from 7 to 11 p.m. July 3: Star Spangled Arts and Crafts, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Fireman’s Park; Impact from 3 to 6 p.m.; Nerds Gone Wild from 7 to 11 p.m. July 4: Flag raising at 8 a.m.; faith services at 9 a.m.; Boys & Girls Club 10K at 9 a.m.; Town Band at noon; parade at 2 p.m. (Pleasant Avenue from Court Street south on Central Avenue); Wonderfair from 3 to 5 p.m. at Lancaster Presbyterian Church; Breakaway from 6 to 10 p.m.; fireworks at 10 p.m.
Hollowfest, July 2-4 at Clarence Town Park (10405 Main St., Clarence) with rides, games, music, food and beer. Music by Supercharger, July 2; Boys of Summer, July 3; and Cock Robin, July 4. Touch a Truck from noon to 3 p.m. July 2. Hot dog eating contest at 1 p.m. July 4. Fireworks July 4. Info: clarencehollowassociation.org.
Carnival, noon-10 p.m. July 2-4 on Old Falls Street. Hammerl Amusements rides, games, clowns, stilt walkers, hula-hoopers and balloon artists. A $20 wristband is good for the whole day.
French and Indian War Encampment, July 2-4 at Old Fort Niagara. Hundreds of re-enactors re-create the siege of 1759. Tours, ceremonies, living history camps, music and cooking demonstrations, plus programs for women and children. New interpretive tours and vignettes on historical background information. Admission is $13 a day or $30 for a three-day pass available July 2 only. Doors open at 9 a.m. daily. For full event schedule, visit oldfortniagara.org.
Independence Day Celebration, July 3-4 at Cheektowaga Town Park. July 3: beer tent and food trucks at 3 p.m.; music by Black Widow from 7 to 11 p.m. July 4: parade at noon from Walden Avenue to the park via Harlem Road; beer tent and food trucks at 2 p.m.; music by Special Delivery at 2 p.m. and Jonesie and the Cruisers at 6:30 p.m.; and fireworks at dusk.