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4th of July activities in Branchport

Once each year on Independence Day, the little hamlet of Branchport becomes the biggest city in Yates County. For over 30 years, the Branchport/Keuka Park Fire Department has hosted its annual Fourth of July Celebration with a chicken barbecue, parade, and fireworks, and this year the local community has planned a number of events to make the holiday weekend one to remember. The fun starts on Friday, July 3rd, with the monthly Cruisin’ Night at the Modeste Bedient Memorial Library. All owners of antique, classic and unique automobiles are invited to bring their special vehicles and share in music, food, friendship, and a love of cars. All car afficianados are welcome to come and look around, as well. The event is scheduled to begin at 6:30, and will be held at the library on Route 54A across from the Branchport Firehouse.Later that evening, the Branchport Sailing Association has planned its annual Lighted Boat Parade. The floatilla sets sail from the basin entrance at 9 p.m., and will parade south along the west shore of the Branchport arm for one hour before returning north along West Bluff Drive. Boats of all types and sizes are invited to light up and join in the fun. No registration is necessary.On Saturday morning, July 4th, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will be holding its annual Bake Sale on the Four Corners next to Branchport Hardware. Church members always have a great selection of yummy home-baked treats to satisfy any sweet tooth.The Branchport/Keuka Park Fire Department’s famous Chicken Barbecue will serve from Noon until 3 p.m. (or until sold out) at the Branchport Firehouse on Route 54A. Take-outs will be available, and there is plenty of seating at the firehouse. Plan to arrive early as this event is almost always a sellout.The one-of-a-kind Branchport 4th of July Parade steps off from the south end of Main Street at 2 p.m., continuing up Guyanoga Road to the former Branchport School. According to parade organizer and fire department assistant chief Eric Pinckney, this is about the only parade around that has almost no limits to participation.“Each year, we see local businesses and organizations, tractors, antique cars, fire departments, boats on trailers, home-built floats—You name it, it’s been a part of this parade,” said Pinckney. “Anyone is welcome to take part, throw candy, make noise. That’s what the 4th of July is all about—celebrating our freedom.”A reviewing stand will be set up at the four corners, where local legend John Crowley will once again serve as master of ceremonies and announcer. Plenty of parking is available at the Branchport School, and most friendly neighbors along the parade route are more than glad to let a few spectators watch from their front yards. All are advised, however, to arrive early asThe day concludes with the annual spectacular firworks display at 10 p.m., launched from behind the Branchport Firehouse and visible from all points around the head of the lake. Pinckney adds, “Young Explosives always puts on a teriffic show, and over the years, they’ve done a heck of a job with our fireworks displays.” Again, lots of parking is available at the Branchport School, and the view from the lake is outstanding for any boaters who wish to make the trek to the area.Pinckney says that the annual events are just one way of bringing the community closer together. “The Branchport/Keuka Park Fire Department cannot thank the community enough for its support of our organization. We know, and we hope, that not everyone in the community will ever experience an emergency that requires our services. This is our way of giving back a little something to everyone who helps make our services possible.”Again, anyone is welcome to participate in the parade. Last minute entries are always welcome, but participants are welcome to reserve a place ahead of time. To register, call the Branchport/Keuka Park Fire Department at 595-2296 and leave a message or email bkpfd@roadrunner.com.

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