4th of July & Fireworks

Across New York and the Finger Lakes regions, the first week in July is a special time for friends and family to celebrate America’s birthday. When you think of Independence Day, a few iconic things come to mind: eating outside, American flags, boat rides, and, of course, fireworks! 

Evening lake views are still best enjoyed in the summer. The Boatyard Grill has indoor and outdoor seating available, as well as The Glenwood Pines (closed July 3rd and 4th) on the west side of Cayuga Lake.

2024 Fireworks and Other Events in Ithaca & Tompkins County

  • Friday, July 5: Inn at Taughannock Falls Fireworks Display - eat at the restaurant, or parking is available at Taughannock Falls State Park for show. Update 6/22/24: Tickets are sold out to the official Independence Day Party at the Inn at Taughannock Falls. Fireworks are viewable at Taughannock Falls State Park with publicly available parking for the general fireworks show.
  • Friday, July 5: Groton Fireworks Show - food trucks and DJ at Groton Elementary School Field
  • July 5 and 6: Sunset Cruise, 7:30 to 9:00pm, boat cruise on Cayuga Lake aboard the MV Teal, operated by Discover Cayuga Lake, book online
  • July 4 and 5: Enjoy a unique 3-hour Sunset with Cruise Ithaca Boat Tours with narration. Witness private fireworks displays from lake houses along the southern end of Cayuga Lake and enjoy a beautiful evening on the water. Update 7/1/24: The evening boat cruise is sold out; the morning eco-cruise and Saturday, 7/6 evening cruise is still available; subject to change.
  • July 5: Live Music at the Finger Lakes Cider House featuring Betty's Ghost (rock/pop/dance cover band). Grounds open at 5pm, bring chairs or a blanket. Music from 6 to 9pm, beverages & BBQ pork available to purchase.
  • Check our full events calendar for additional events and live performances in the Ithaca area for Independence Day week, including more boat cruises.

Other Finger Lakes Region July 4th Weekend Events

  • Thursday, July 4: Watkins Glen - Clute Memorial Park
  • Thursday, July 4: Branchport / Keuka Lake - parade at 2pm, fireworks at 10pm
  • Saturday, July 6: Cortland -  Dwyer Memorial Park in Little Lake 2 to 10pm
  • Saturday, July 6: Hammondsport / Keuka Lake - Firehouse grounds at 10:30pm

Canceled or postponed events for 2024: 

  • Myers Park in Lansing - not happening
  • Ithaca Rotary Fireworks Celebration - not happening

There are many ways to make your 4th of July festive in the Finger Lakes. Dine on Restaurant Row/Aurora Street, the 100-block of downtown with many of our area restaurants offering outdoor dining. Explore the county and find additional outdoor diningu-pick experiences, and tasting rooms to visit. Celebrate America by hiking and appreciating the public NY State Parks. Discover new waterfalls, gorgeshiking trails and adventures in Ithaca and Tompkins County. Pack a blanket, and a picnic, and take time to enjoy the summer sky no matter what time of day.

Some of the best ice cream in the Finger Lakes

Don't forget the ice cream! In addition to the classics, you'll find non-dairy and gluten-free options at these Ithaca favorites.

  • Sweet Melissa's Ice Cream at Shortstop Deli -- soft serve on W Seneca St in Ithaca
  • Purity Ice Cream -- scoops available, ice cream sandwiches and other treats on Cascadilla St in Ithaca
  • Cayuga Lake Creamery -- creative flavors such as Red, White & Blueberry located inside the historic Dewitt Mall in downtown Ithaca, and on State Rt 89 in Interlaken