Get ready because Oneonta's First Night Committee is ready to throw one big, family-fun party to celebrate our community's resilience and country's birth on the weekend of July 4th in Neahwa Park.

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Typically, the July 4th celebration is a one-day event but this year, it kicks off on Friday, July 2nd in with a free, country music concert featuring Michael Christopher, an up and coming country music artist who has opened for big-name music artists like Tyler Farr, Sammy Kershaw, Lonestar, Chris Lane, Jamey Johnson, Phil Vassar, William Michael Morgan and Walker Hayes. Find out more about this Pennsylvania native at michaelchristophercountry.com.

The big celebration continues on July 4, starting at 11:00 with a parade down Oneonta's Main St. If you would like to join in the parade and handle one of the many large puppets we have all come to know and love, make sure you reach out and e-mail firstnightoneonta@gmail.com. There are quite a number of puppets that have been made over years under the direction of Carol Mandigo of the Catskill Puppet Theatre so many volunteers are welcome.

Following the parade, the fun continues at noon in Neahwa Park, Oneonta where for years and years, families and people from all over the area have been coming on our nation's birthday, to enjoy an alcohol-free celebration with free admission. You'll get everything from food vendors, live music, dance, kids' activities, arts and crafts and other entertainment. Plan on bringing lawn chairs to come and enjoy the day in the park since there will be plenty.

Of course, it wouldn't be a complete celebration of Independence Day if we didn't have fireworks to enjoy. That will happen around 10pm. But wait...feel free to stick around in the park after the fireworks because there will be an after party with Cosmic Karma Fire Spinners.

Keep an eye on the Hometown 4th Festival facebook page for updates.

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