City in summer party mode (2024)

City in summer party mode (1)

Fireworks are planned the evening of the Fourth of July on Thursday in Dunkirk.

Dunkirk is packing Music on the Pier and feverishly anticipating a four-day Independence Day party.

The city’s first three Thursday night concerts of the season came off well. Nice weather greeted large and enthusiastic crowds. Last week’s event was admittedly sultry – but a breeze off Lake Erie made it one of the coolest places in the county.

“We’ve had an incredible attendance (1,500 to 2,500 people on average) from both local residents and out of towners in the first few weeks,” said Scott Mekus of the city’s recreation department.

“Some visitors to the weekly music event included boaters who enjoyed the tunes from their decks and first time attendees who loved the unique pier venue and impressive size and beauty of Memorial Park,” he added.

Mekus said coordinating the music series “is not always easy but very rewarding.” There’s quite a long list of things to do: Booking bands, coordinating with other city departments, organizing vendors and sponsors, event promotion and financial management are just some of them.

Thursday’s Music on the Pier was “Pop Night” with Ion Sky and XOXO Pop Band. The event will be moved to Friday next week as part of the city’s Independence Day festivities.

The four-day Independence Day celebration will feature live music, food and refreshment vendors, and the annual fireworks display, on the Dunkirk waterfront July 3-6.

On Wednesday, July 3, music will be provided by Ten Cent Howl (5 p.m.) followed by Two For Flinching (7:15) in Memorial Park. Vendors will open at 5 p.m.

On Thursday, the Fourth of July, vendors start at 11 a.m. with entertainers Party McFly (2 p.m.), Furious George (4:30 p.m.) and Nerds Gone Wild (7 p.m.) in Memorial Park for “Back to the Eighties” Night.

The night concludes with the playing of the National Anthem followed by the Starfire Corporation fireworks – the largest fireworks display in Chautauqua County.

In case of inclement weather, the fireworks will be rescheduled to the following evening, July 5.

“A special thanks to the community and business donors who have donated, and donations are still needed and being accepted to help defray the cost of the annual fireworks show so that this tradition can continue,” Mekus said.

The Dunkirk Pier will be closed the morning of July 3 through the morning of July 5. On July 4, Central Avenue from Lake Shore Drive to the end of the pier will be closed in the early afternoon. The Chadwick Bay Marina boat launch will be closed from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. that day and no boat mooring will be allowed in the harborfront proximity for fireworks safety.

On Friday, The Freeze (5:25 p.m.) and Sean Patrick McGraw (7 p.m.) play Music on the Pier’s Hometown Night in Memorial Park, sponsored by Cattaraugus County Bank. Vendors will also open at 5 p.m.

This year’s vendors include Taylor’s Doughboy, Tony’s Waffles, J. Leworthy Concessions, Leworthy’s Concessions, Campi’s Pizza, Merritt Estate Winery Slush Bus, Charlie’s Curly Fries, Franklin’s Honey & Apples, Santillo’s Inc., Serving Up Smiles, The Two Buck A Roos, Arly & Izzy’s, The Best of Buffalo by Byron, JJ’s Backyard BBQ & Catering, LLC, Fun-B-Que Novelties, Gelati’s Italian Ice and Ivy Rivera Psychic Medium.

The 10th Annual Marauder Trotter 5k Run/Walk hosted by the DHS Class of 1989 will take place Saturday, July 6 at 9 a.m. at Wright Park.

The event is sponsored by Dunkirk High School Class of ’89 classmates Jason Hallmark of Hallmark Wealth Planning, Mark Maslakowski, Melissa Haase, Scott Mekus and D.J. Wilson.

Interested participants can sign up at or the morning of the race from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

A birthday carnival with DJ Joe Gould, bounce house, dunk tank, carnival game tent, face painting and balloon twisting will be open to the public with a nominal fee from 9 a.m. to noon to celebrate the event’s anniversary.

A community bottle pull game and a wrapped birthday present silent auction will also take place.

Proceeds will support the DHS Unified Sports program.

“The Fourth of July in Dunkirk has always been a cherished event for both our residents and visitors to our area,” said Mayor Kate Wdowiasz. “We have one of the best waterfront locations that has welcomed all with a sense of community pride and overall appreciation.”

The Fourth of July activities are hosted by the City of Dunkirk and the Dunkirk Local Development Corporation with the following donors: DFT Communications, Cattaraugus County Bank, Town of Dunkirk, Add Lumber True Value, Beach House Bar & Grille, G & E Tents, North Chautauqua Dental, PLLC, Atlas Comfort Cabins, S. St. George Enterprises, Inc. and Roger Gloss Lawn Mowing and Enviro-Kleen Services.

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City in summer party mode (2024)
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