Parking is limited at Stewart Park for this Thursday evening's Ithaca community fireworks show, but generous donors can earn a parking space and other perks. The event begins at 6pm on July 3rd, and culminates with fireworks starting at 9:45.
Even those who donate just $10 get an event button and a free hot dog or hamburger. Those donating $100 get a parking pass as well as a hot dog or hamburger, and for a $250 donation, attendees get chairs for the show, food for five people, and a photo of the fireworks. At the $500 level, donors get two parking passes and a 10x10 pop-up tent with prime seating for the evening.
Live music and other entertainment at Stewart Park will begin at 6pm, and available food will include hot dogs, veggie dogs, hamburgers, beverages, and side dishes. The fireworks themselves will be shot from Newman Municipal Golf Course, south of the park.
"I've always loved the fireworks," says City of Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick, who pushed hard to bring the annual show back to Ithaca in 2012, after it had taken place in Dryden on the campus of Tompkins Cortland Community College for a couple of years.
"Particularly as a kid," the mayor added, "the fact that the show was free meant my family could go along with the wealthiest family in town and we'd all have the same view. We'd all look up at the same sky together."
Parking is available at Boynton Middle School or Ithaca High School, with organizers suggesting attendees use the entrances on Lake Street. TCAT will be operating buses for those who want to park downtown and hop on at the Seneca Street, Green Street, or Albany Street stops. Bus drivers whose buses were full left behind passengers trying to get back from past Stewart Park events, and TCAT suggests attendees head straight to the bus pick-up point at the Stewart Park circle as soon as the fireworks show ends. They say buses will continue to run this year as long as there are people waiting.
To date, $14,000 has been raised towards a $20,000 fundraising goal.
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