Committee Struggles To Find Date for Twice-Postponed Waveny Fireworks

The volunteer committee that organizes the annual Fourth of July fireworks in Waveny is struggling to find a new date for the twice-postponed event, officials say. Originally scheduled for July 3 with a July 11 rain date, the annual picnic and fireworks show has been put off due to rain and concerns about damaging Waveny’s athletic fields where visitors’ cars are parked, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. “So we are looking to try and find an alternate date,” he told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission during their regular meeting, held July 14 via videoconference. ‘That’s been kind of difficult.”

The comments came during Benko’s general update to the Commission. 

Canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Fourth could not be scheduled with the fireworks contractor on the usual July 4 date this year. Though the Family Fourth Committee started planning later than usual in 2021 due to uncertainty about COVID-related restrictions, the group decided in May to market this year’s fireworks as “New Canaan residents only.” It’s unclear how many tickets were sold.

Family Fourth Committee: Purchase Passes So That Waveny Fireworks Can Continue

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 “Ninety-five percent of it comes from passes.

‘Drifting Silver Rain with Crackling Tail’: New Canaan Family Fourth Committee Eyes Even More Spectacular Fireworks Show at Waveny

New Canaan Family Fourth 2016

Uploaded by Michael Dinan on 2016-07-05.

Town officials this week approved a $30,000 contract with a Douglassville, Pa.-based pyrotechnic company to put on an even more spectacular fireworks show at the Waveny July 4th event this summer. The Family Fourth is paid for entirely out of private funds, raised mainly through sales of passes as well as generous donations. This year, the town is upping its contract between the recreation director and International Fireworks Mfg. Co. from $25,000 to $30,000—partly a step increase after the former price had been held for nearly 10 years, and partly because “we decided we wanted to add a few more things to the show and make it a more exciting show,” Recreation Director and Family Fourth Committee member Steve Benko told the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting.

‘A Great Night for All’: Waveny Fireworks Declared Success for Committee, Community

The head of the volunteer group that organizes the Waveny fireworks estimates that this week’s event saw a modest increase in revenue over last year. According to Tom Stadler, chairman of the Family Fourth Committee, the picnic and fireworks show brought in about $75,000—up $1,000 from the prior summer. The funds will cover the cost of the event, he said, and extra money raised from donations, passes and food sales will carry over to next year. “My intent would be to give us a better fireworks show,” Stadler said. After a significant revenue drop two years ago, the committee this summer sought to increase donations and purchase of passes by stressing that the Family Fourth is independently funded.