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Monday, September 15, 2014

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Rockets' red glare: Fireworks return for Fourth of July

Published 10:25 am, Wednesday, July 2, 2014
  • A vendor shares a laugh with a group of girls during last year's Fourth of July celebration at Darien High School. Cameron Lancaster / For the Darien News Photo: Contributed Photo / Darien News
    A vendor shares a laugh with a group of girls during last year's Fourth of July celebration at Darien High School. Cameron Lancaster / For the Darien News Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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What's legal?
Only sparklers and "shower"-type fireworks are legal to sell and use in Connecticut and can only can be legally used by people age 16 or older. No aerial or exploding-type fireworks are permitted to be sold or used in the state.
Novelty items such as party poppers, snakes, smoke devices and anything that emits a flame are not legal for private use in Connecticut.
Larger so-called "fire crackers" are actually explosive devices that are banned by state and federal law. They include M-80s, M-100s, M-250s and larger, cherry bombs, quarter sticks, block-busters and other similar devices.

If you have your own legal fireworks display, follow these guidelines from the Darien police:
Only adults should handle fireworks. Discuss safety procedures with your children. Make sure they know how to call 9-1-1
Show children how to put out fireworks by using water or a fire extinguisher
Carefully follow directions.
Never use fireworks indoors
Be sure spectators are out of range before lighting fireworks
Never aim or throw fireworks at another person
Never place any body part over fireworks
Never try to re-ignite fireworks
Never carry fireworks in your pocket
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Darien residents don't need to go to Boston or New York City for a jaw-dropping professional fireworks display. Instead, they need only look above the fields of Darien High School.

Darien's annual fireworks show will take place on Saturday, July 5, at 9 p.m., "give or take 10 minutes," Kesti Aysseh, the Darien Firefighters Foundation president, said. This marks the fourth year the foundation will host the fireworks display as a fundraising event for the foundation, which supports the town's fire departments.

"It's an incredible firework display," Aysseh said. "People walk out of there saying it was the best they've seen. It's done to music and it's really a top-notch, first-class show."

The rain date is Sunday, July 6.

Through the support of local sponsors, the show costs $50,000 to $60,000, but is privately funded. Spectators will need to buy a $25 pass to park at the high school. The show lasts about 30 minutes and is done by a professional company, Atlas Pyrovision Productions Inc.

"This is a town event in that it's bringing everyone together and everyone can enjoy the show," Aysseh said. "But it's not put on by the town or coming out of the tax dollars."

The money raised from the parking passes goes to the firefighters' foundation, which supports the Noroton Heights, Noroton and Darien fire departments.

The foundation, established in 2007, has provided funds for items including a flag car for the Noroton Heights Fire Department chief and an underwater camera for the Noroton Fire Department and to repair a garage door at the Darien Fire Department. Funds have also been used to pay for firefighters' training.

This year, parking passes can be purchased online on the firefighters' foundation website -- www.darienfirefighter.org -- up the last minute before the show. Tickets are also available at Town Hall.

The gates open at 6 p.m. and spectators, whether they drive or walk to the event, will be able to sit on the upper oval fields, on the baseball field and on the stadium bleachers.

Bodega Taco Bar and Lobstercraft food trucks also will be on scene, as well as other vendors, including Uncle's Deli; Burgers, Shakes & Fries; Melt Mobile; Chunky Pam's Sweet Shoppe; Gofer Ice Cream; and Non-Stop Donut Shop.

All food vendors will give 10 percent of their proceeds to the firefighters' foundation.

The Darien Fireworks Band, under the direction of Jane Minnus, will provide patriotic musical entertainment and perform the national anthem.

If spectators do not purchase a pass, parking is available in the:

public portion of Holly Lane: on south side only facing Middlesex Road.

libby Lane: on west side only facing Middlesex Road.

parking lots within a half-mile: Darien Community Association, St. Thomas Moore Church

parking lots within one mile: Middlesex Middle School, McGuane Field

There will be no parking on Noroton Avenue.

Police advisory

The Darien Police Department is requiring that all traffic to the high school campus enter through the Noroton Avenue entrance.

Police will institute tow-away zones.

When capacity has been reached for all parking, Noroton Avenue Extension will be closed.

No alcoholic beverages are allowed on any school property. Anyone caught tampering with or removing "No Parking" signs will be arrested.

Parents will not be allowed onto the high school campus to pick up their children until after the roads are clear.

A police and emergency services command post will be located in the parking lot near the entrance to the football field.

All bags, backpacks and coolers will be subject to inspection.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews