4th of July events to light up the sky across the area

Hot air balloons, parades and fireworks. The local area has all the ingredients of a fun weekend coming up — and it’s mostly all for free.

First up is the Hyde Park Independence Day Parade, on Fri., July 4. It starts at 10am at the Roosevelt Movie Theatres on Route 9.

Next come the colorful sight called the annual Dutchess County Hot Air Balloon Festival, which will be launching balloons from various locations from Friday to Sunday. At 6pm Friday, July 4, two balloons each will be launched at Greig Farm and Migliorelli Farm at 6pm. At Greig Farm (223 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook) the event is sponsored by the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival and the farm market will be open and include a free wine tasting. Migliorelli Farm’s event at 245 Guski Road, Red Hook, will feature live music and a food truck and will be repeated on Saturday, July 5 at 6pm, as well.

On Saturday and Sunday at 6am, there will be a mass launch of balloons from the Hudson River Rowing Association Boathouse in Poughkeepsie. All launches are open to the public. Many feature food and drink to purchase and much more. There are also balloon launches planned for various sites around Poughkeepsie and other parts of the county, see www.dcrcoc.org for more.

And of course, it wouldn’t be the Fourth without the fireworks. Here are the hot spots:

Clermont: The Clermont State Historic Site is holding a Revolutionary Ball, starting at 2pm, with live music until the Saugerties Fireworks show starts across the river at 9pm. It’s a wonderful place to watch the display. $10 per vehicle.

Kingston: A free concert in the Rondout starts at 4pm. At 9pm, a special video tribute to our troops and fallen heroes will be followed by a gigantic fireworks display at 9:30pm.

Walkway Over the Hudson: The Walkway will be closed for an hour at 5:30pm and will reopen at 6:30pm for a fireworks spectacular that starts between 9 and 9:30pm. Tickets are $10, children under 5 free but must register. See www.walkway.org for ticket locations. Rain date is July 5.

Germantown: They’re hosting a fireworks show in Palatine Park, $2 for walk-ins, $10 for vehicles; rain date July 5.

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