Town Approves Contract for Fireworks at ‘Family Fourth,’ Set for July 6 at Waveny


Town officials on Tuesday approved a $35,000 contract with a Douglassville, Pa.-based company to put on a fireworks show for the annual Family Fourth picnic at Waveny.

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the contract with International Fireworks Mfg.

The popular gathering of local families is “a Norman Rockwell quintessential event,” according to Tom Stadler, chair of the Family Fourth Committee.

“We’re getting everything in place right now,” Stadler told the selectmen during their regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

“We have the garbage contract here, we’re working to get the bands lined up, get the food trucks lined up,” he said. “We have the dates set.”

The Family Fourth is set for Saturday, July 6, with a rain date of July 7 (it’ll move to the following weekend after that). 

The selectmen asked if it’s the same vendor for the fireworks (yes) and the same contract as years past (yes, though it was $33,000 in recent years). First Selectman Dionna Carlson and Selectmen Steve Karl and Amy Murphy Carroll voted in favor of the new contract. 

Putting together the event—with considerations of parking, public safety, food, waste, games, traffic, music and the fireworks show itself, among other responsibilities—is “a huge logistical thing,” Stadler said.

Though the Family Fourth used to be held on July 4 regardless of where that fell in the week, having the rain date the next day after the originally scheduled event “is very very very important,” Stadler said.

“With all the logistical stuff that you have, when you tell a guy that just bought $4,000 worth of lobster, ‘OK it’s Friday night but the rain date is the next Friday night,’ you push it off and he’s stuck with all the lobsters,” he said. “The way we’re operating today, this is the model that works the best.”

The town now makes weather-related calls on the Thursday before the Family Fourth, Stadler said.

Parks & Recreation Director John Howe said, “If we watch the forecast we usually have a good idea of which way to go.”

2 thoughts on “Town Approves Contract for Fireworks at ‘Family Fourth,’ Set for July 6 at Waveny

  1. When I lived in new Canaan, there was a lot of wildlife at Waveney, but I guess you guys don’t care about the Wildlife and putting on fireworks which will only scare them. I’m embarrassed for new Canaan.

    • This is not a new event. The 2024 iteration of the NC Family Fireworks will be it’s 43rd which means that it started in 1981. I ride my bike in Waveny all the time and still see plenty of wildlife. I don’t think 20 minutes of fireworks will scare them. It’s likely that the daily roar of cars on the Merritt is more jarring to them.

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