B y Krystle S. Morey

After having its first summer concert rained out last week, Granville is ready to kick off the season with a concert and Independence Day celebration this evening.

Music, food, fireworks and more are on tap July 5.

Chicken barbecue

The evening will kick off with a chicken barbecue in Veterans Memorial Park, hosted by the Granville Lodge Free and Accepted Masons.

Starting at 4 p.m., the Masons will serve meals consisting of a half-chicken, baked potato, baked beans, coleslaw, roll and brownie.

Don’t wait until the start of the concert at 7 p.m. to buy a dinner, because only 150 chickens will be cooked and served until they’re sold out, which is usually within an hour.

“It’s more than likely that there won’t be anything left,” said Michael Angiolillo of the Masons.

The cost is $10.

Strawberry social

Starting at 6:30 p.m., the Granville Ecumenical Council will serve strawberry shortcake in Veterans Memorial Park.

Strawberry shortcakes, complete with strawberries, ice cream, biscuits and whipped cream will be “sold” for donations. There will be a tent next to the bandstand, near the Girl Scouts’ hot dog, chips and drinks table.

“We used to charge, but now we just ask for donations,” said Rev. Jerry McKinney.

Proceeds will help provide lunches for students enrolled in the Granville Summer Recreation Program.

“We realized that there are kids who are on the lunch program at school and they don’t have anything in the summer,” said McKinney. “It’s a way for us to help people … especially kids who are food insecure.”

The Ecumenical Council has provided lunches for the Summer Rec program for seven years.

Each serving is “pretty generous,” McKinney said.

“We serve until it’s all gone,” he said.

New York Players

The New York Players will take over the bandstand in the park starting at 7 p.m.

“This is one of our featured concerts,” said village clerk Rick Roberts.

“The concert is usually well-attended on that night,” he said.

The 11-member Capital Region-based band plays a variety of hits from Jazz to Funk and R&B to Motown.

“They can go up and down the decades pretty easily,” said Roberts.

“With an 11-piece band, you’ve got a percussion section, you’ve got horns… It makes you want to tap your toes,” he said.

Fireworks

Following the concert, at about 9:45 p.m., a fireworks display will be ignited from the Granville Little League Complex.

Each year folks from around the region set up at various locations around the village to watch the show. Some people watch from the porches at their homes, while others view the show from the Mettowee River Park, Veterans Memorial Park, the Slate Valley Masonic Lodge and Lions Park.

“You could watch from the park, but I think there is better viewing from the Little League … up North Street, River Valley Drive, Slate Valley Drive,” said Roberts.

This year about 500 fireworks items will be set off. The show will last 20 to 25 minutes.

With the help of local musician Brent Tuttle, the fireworks are choreographed to a series of songs each year.

“We always try and have a little bit of everything … patriotic pieces, 70s music,” Roberts said.

The finale will be set to the 1812 Overture.

Both the town and village of Granville contribute funds for the annual Independence Day fireworks show. Each spends about $2,250, Roberts said.

“It gets you a pretty good show,” he said.

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