The volunteer committee that organizes one of New Canaan’s favorite annual events is urging those planning to attend to purchase passes beforehand.
Though passes to the annual Family Fourth gathering will be available Thursday at Waveny Pool, they may be purchased now online (on the newly relaunched municipal website) or at several physical locations throughout town, according to Tom Stadler, chairman of the committee that oversees the event.
At a cost of $35 per family for residents and $65 for nonresidents, the passes generate the only revenue that supports the Family Fourth, whose highlights include the celebrated fireworks show as well as a bouncy castle for kids and other amenities for attendees.
“The fireworks show is put on by selling entrance passes and by some very generous people that give us donations every year,” Stadler told NewCanaanite.com. “Ninety-five percent of it comes from passes. We cannot put the show on without the sale of passes. There’s no tax dollars involved here like other towns. So if we don’t sell the passes and collect the money, we can’t put the show on. If we sell more passes, we can put a better show on.”
The Family Fourth is held in July 4 each year. Passes can be purchased in person at Walter Stewart’s Market, New Canaan Toy Store, Baskin-Robbins, Recreation Department in Waveny House, Gates Restaurant and the Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall.
The town in March approved a $30,000 contract for a Pennsylvania company that for decades has put on the privately funded fireworks show at Waveny to do so again.
Stadler said there’s a wide misconception that the Family Fourth is free for those walking in.
“Nothing is free, trust me,” he said. “We have to pay for the show—the fireworks and fire support and ambulance support and all the other things we have there.”
Those things This year include two bands and a wide selection of food, including from gourmet food trucks offering American, Italian, Pacific, Filipino, and Nuevo Latino food, as well as offerings from Gates, cupcakes from Forever Sweet Bakery, artisanal fudge from Chocolate Moonshine, Stadler said.
“It’s the family Fourth, it just a very fun event,” Stadler said. “Bring the kids, bring the family. Have a good time. But we do appreciate the support, because without that we cannot do it.”
The Family Fourth Committee won the “Volunteer of the Year” Award this year from the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. Its members include Robin Bates-Mason, Steve Benko, Scott Cluett, Chris Cody, Wendy Dixon Fog, Win Goodrich, Sue Holland, Suzanne Jonker, Steve Parrett, Stadler, Andrew Walsh, Maria Weingarten and Pat Wood.
Here’s a list of fireworks tips from the New Canaan fire marshal.