It's hard for me to envision spending my Fourth of July evenings anywhere but the shores of Chautauqua Lake.
For as long as I can remember, I have been spending the evening hours of Independence Day between Midway State Park and the Vikings Lodge Lake Park in Maple Springs eagerly anticipating Midway's fireworks display from the porch of the Vikings lodge.
As a child, I would spend the bulk of my day at the Vikings, passing my time swimming in the lake and hanging out on the playground with the kids of other families who opted to spend their holiday in the same way my family did. Even though the size of my family has dwindled, and many other options have presented themselves to me over the years, being at the Vikings on the Fourth has become a tradition that I haven't been able to shake - nor do I really want to.
I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and as soon as the flares that are placed along the perimeter of the lake are lit, I'm transported back to a simpler time. Once the fireworks have fizzled out, reality starts to settle in again, but at least I have one evening out of the year in which I can look forward to experiencing that feeling again.
In my time with The Post-Journal, I have increased my level of community awareness exponentially. Now, as features and entertainment reporter, I have a very clear perspective of just what is being offered throughout the surrounding area on a weekly basis. The Fourth of July activities, some of which I've included in today's column, are very enticing.
I find it likely that, eventually, when I'm finally ready to start developing my own personal holiday traditions,
I may even seize the opportunity to try something new.
This year, however, is not the year for that. The annual fireworks displays, public and private, that occur in our area may be too numerous to count, but I fully intend to take up my spot on the side deck of the Viking lodge for the 24th time in my 27 Independence Days.
So, when that initial blast that signals the ensuing light show hovering over the treeline between Midway and the Vikings hits, you know exactly where to find me.
And now, here's what you can expect to find in the area this week.
Fourth Annual "Liberty Rocks" Held In Downtown Warren Today: The fourth annual "Liberty Rocks" street concert will begin at 4 p.m. today on Liberty Street, between Second and Third avenues in downtown Warren. Music will be provided by Jeff Eggleston from 5-6 p.m., Old Dawg Bluegrass from 6-8 p.m. and Black John from 8-11 p.m.
For more information, search "Liberty Rocks" on Facebook.
Lakewood's Fourth Of July/Summerfest Set For Friday: The village of Lakewood's Fourth of July/Summerfest celebration will take place all day Friday at Hartley Park. The festivities will begin with the Lakewood YMCA's 2014 Firecracker 10K Run at 9 p.m. There are also options for a 2-mile run, 2-mile walk and kids' races. A money hunt, sponsored by M&T Bank, will be held at Hartley Park following the run at 11 p.m. A street sale will be held on Chautauqua Avenue from 2-10 p.m., offering a variety of food, gifts and crafts. There will be a chicken barbecue at Yesterdays restaurant beginning at 4 p.m., and a fireworks display by Zambelli Fireworks will close out the celebration at 10 p.m. Aside from the Firecracker Run entry fee, there is no cost to attend.
For more information, look for the schedule of events available at www.lakewoodny.com.
Great Blue Heron Festival To Kick Off Friday: The 23rd annual Great Blue Heron Music Festival will be held this weekend throughout most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The festival will feature music from dozens of local and regional bands and musicians, as well as a variety of music workshops and activities. To attend, adult ticket prices at the gate are: $90 for a weekend pass, $40 for Friday, $40 for Saturday and $30 for Sunday. Children ages 12-15 can attend for $40 each, and children under 12 can attend for free. Parking prices vary.
The Great Blue Heron Music Festival is held at 2361 Waits Corners Road in Sherman. For more information, visit www.greatblueheron.com.
Survivor To Perform At Seneca Allegany Casino Saturday: Classic rock group Survivor, widely known for their hit song "Eye of the Tiger," will appear at the Seneca Allegany Events Center for an 8 p.m. performance on Saturday. Tickets are $15.
The Seneca Allegany Events Center is located in the casino at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca.
For more information, call 945-9300, or visit www.senecaalleganycasino.com/entertainment.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email email@example.com or call 487-1111, ext. 243 by Monday.
Steve Swanson, Marla Harris and Ray Domanski: 6 p.m., Long Point State Park in Bemus Point
The Karl and Mark Show: 6:30 p.m., Hometown Grill, 718 W. Third St. in Jamestown
DJ Unlimited: 7 p.m., Vikings Lodge Lake Park, Route 430 in Maple Springs
Derek Davis and Barry Edwards: 7 p.m., Hartley Park Gazebo in Lakewood
Hindu Cowboys: 9 p.m., Steener's Pub, 3022 Route 430 in Greenhurst
DJ Eclips: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Jackson Rohm: 9:30 p.m., Village Casino, 1 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point
NoWeGo: 10 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Barefoot Sarah: 12 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
Brian Chase: 2 p.m., Yesterdays, 103 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Harbour Knights (A Tribute to Jimmy Buffett): 4 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow
Ruckus: 5 p.m., Yesterdays, 103 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Tim Warren and Russ: 6 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
Greg Ford: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
Smokehouse: 7 p.m., Hartley Park Gazebo in Lakewood
DJ Griz: 10 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
Black Pearl: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest: 3 p.m., Steener's Pub, 3022 Route 430 in Greenhurst
Fish Dinner with Free Appetizer: 4-10 p.m., Murdock's, 100 W. Main St. in Sherman (bring this notice for service)
Slim Griffin: 6 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
TC Smith and Jesse Smith: 7 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow
Lake Effect: 7:30 p.m., Vikings Lodge Lake Park, Route 430 in Maple Springs
Howard Buck and the Rustic Ramblers: 8 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Jamestown
'Stage Fright' Screening: 8 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Bros Agenda: 9 p.m., Murdock's, 100 W. Main St. in Sherman
Derek Davis and the Tasty Groove: 10 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville
Hellraiser: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
New Wave Nation: 10 p.m., Village Casino, 1 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point
The Elektra Kings: 10 p.m., Snuffy's, 208 Hickory St. in Warren
Splitfoot: 2 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
Amanda Barton and Bill Ward: 4:30 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow
Greg Ford: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville