Summer is a time to take your thoughts, energy and loved ones outside to enjoy the timeless pleasures of a lively season. If picking ripe berries or wildflowers in a mountain meadow sounds unrealistic, it’s no exaggeration — it’s every summer in Ulster County.

This bucolic haven for camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and agritourism is the perfect Fourth of July destination for any couple, family, or group looking for a “classic Americana” holiday worthy of their most beloved photo album. As you’ll see below, Ulster County is marking July Fourth weekend with a full schedule of fun free events and plenty of fireworks.

Holidays are a great time to visit, but don’t forget the area buzzes with arts, culture and fun all season. Vocalists, musicians, actors, painters, sculptors and cinephiles of all ages take their hard work and passion to the streets and audiences of Ulster County, as the local communities stage more than seven different art-focused festivals or events between May and August.

Events, holidays and fireworks aside, the Hudson Valley’s natural beauty and wildlife are on full display throughout the summer. This is the ideal time for exploring the beautiful waterways and river itself on a kayak tour, paddleboard, canoe or rental boat. Warm weather is also the prime time for roaming forest trails to find gorgeous waterfalls or cliff vistas, and for those needing less physical exertion, Rail Explorers and the Catskill Mountain Railroad offer one- to two-hour rides along similar paths.

Fourth of July Weekend in Ulster County

Friday, July 1

Firework Extravaganza @ Accord Speedway

Saturday, July 2

Highland Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks
Town Park
Vendors, food - 6 p.m. | Fireworks - Dusk

Monday, July 4

Ellenville Wawarsing Fourth of July Parade & Fireworks
Joseph Y. Resnick Airport
Parade - 12 p.m. | Fireworks - 9:30 p.m.

Kingston, Catskill Mountain Railroad Catskill Flyer
11 AM, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.

Phoenicia/Town of Shandaken Fourth of July Parade
Main Street, Phoenicia
Parade - 11 a.m.
Rail Explorers running rail bikes at standard times

Saugerties 4th of July Parade and Fireworks
Catine Field
Parade - 11 a.m. | Fireworks - Dusk

Reis Group & Catskill Mountain Moonshine Fourth of July Party
Reis Group backlot | Following parade, live music, baked goods, smoked foods, artists, crafters, woodworkers, raffle basket to support the Boys and Girls Club

Walkway Over the Hudson Fireworks Over the Hudson
Bridge open - 4:30 p.m. | Fireworks - 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 9

Modena Red, White & Blue Fireworks Extravaganza
Thomas Felton Park
Fireworks - 5 p.m.

Summer Festivals & Camps to Note

2022 Family Camp at Ashokan
Sunday, July 31 - Thursday, August 4

Ashokan Family Camp is a laid-back, cross-generational escape into nature, music, arts, crafts, and interactive fun and games. This three-day, four-night experience brings campers of any age together to “leave the screens, to-do lists and household chores behind” and enjoy instrumental workshops and jamming, wildlife exploration/canoeing, drumming, dance and movement games, art projects, storytelling, songwriting, and campfire singalongs. All activities are optional and are led by a warm and welcoming staff. Camp tuition includes all meals (Sunday dinner through Thursday breakfast). Select from free camping or one of the Ashokan Center’s comfortable on-site lodging options (additional fees apply).

Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice
Friday, August 5 – Sunday, August 7

Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

This promises to be a spectacular year for the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. NYC Teatro Grattacielo kicks off the weekend with Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” on Friday. On Saturday, the New York City Opera Company presents Verdi’s “La Traviata”, with City Opera Music Director Maestro Constantine Orbelian at the helm. Finally, on Sunday, the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, together with the Woodstock Film Festival, presents “Hollywood in the Hills, Opera in the Movies.” Featuring a full orchestra, chorus and soloists, this concert is performed alongside projected vignettes of films — including Philadelphia, Shawshank Redemption, Pretty Woman and Fatal Attraction — enhanced by the opera’s incredible drama.

Ellenville Blueberry Festival
Saturday, August 13
9 am-4 pm
Canal Street and Liberty Square

Join artisans, food vendors, nonprofits and blueberry lovers at the annual Blueberry Festival with the Ellenville Warwarsing Chamber of Commerce. Admission is free; festival will go on rain or shine. Please no pets or animals at the festival except service animals. Now accepting vendor and booth applications.