Who doesn't love a parade? Parades are a celebration of community at its best and following every parade I've ever seen, I always feel happy and uplifted. Parades remind me of wonderful community spirit and who doesn't enjoy that?

Perfect opportunities to experience community spirit are coming up surrounding Independence Day in Otsego County. Many small communities hold July 4th parades but there are a few big ones to share with you that are coming up.

This is not your average parade, it's the Cooperstown Otsego Lake Boat Parade on July 3, starting at 3:00 pm on Otsego Lake which is organized by the Otsego Lake Association in Cooperstown and kicks off at 3-Mile Point on Otsego Lake. This rain or shine parade features all types of boats that owners decorate for the occasion. It's quite a sight to see, especially if you're in the parade. The parade has drawn as many as 50 participating boats and is a fun way to celebrate recreation on Otsego Lake. You can find out more about this boat parade at otsegolakeassociation.org.

via Otsego Lake Association, Cooperstown, NY - Facebook
via Otsego Lake Association, Cooperstown, NY - Facebook
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On July 4, there are two parades of note in Otsego County that are exceptional. Oneonta kicks off a big "Hometown 4th of July" celebration with a parade down Oneonta's Main Street starting at 1:00 pm. All kinds of different groups and even dynamic entertainers join in this parade, along with huge handcrafted puppets operated by volunteers. If you would like to participate in the parade, you can contact Hill City Celebrations (formerly First Night Oneonta) through the First Night Oneonta Facebook page or by emailing firstnightoneonta@gmail.com.

TSM Oneonta
TSM Oneonta
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Following the Oneonta parade is a large July 4th celebration in Neahwa Park with free admission for all. This event typically draws as many as 15,000 people. Find out more about the day's events in Neahwa Park at Firstnightoneonta.com.

via Springfield 4th of July Parade and Celebration, Facebook
via Springfield 4th of July Parade and Celebration, Facebook
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Springfield Center holds an annual July 4th parade that is famous for being the second oldest running July 4th parade in the country as it started up in 1914 and it's quite large so bring a lawn chair! The parade begins at 11:00 am and it draws participants from many of the area's surrounding communities like  Milford, Roseboom, Cherry Valley, Springfield, West Winfield, and Fort Plain. Following the parade, at the Springfield Community Center, you can enjoy Brooks’ chicken barbecue, music by the Cooperstown Community Band, historical displays, a quilt show, and more. Later on, there will be a free concert at 7:30 pm with the Council Rock Band, followed by fireworks at Glimmerglass State Park.

To add to this big celebration, the Town of Springfield is marking its 225th anniversary! Learn more about the Springfield July 4th celebration at The Springfield 4th of July Parade - 2022 Facebook event page.

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Central New York may be known for its changeable weather more than outdoor dining but because of the increase in popularity of eating in the great outdoors, more and more restaurants are offering it to patrons. Below are some awesome choices in Delaware and Otsego Counties.

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