Fireworks, Town Hall ceremony to highlight Fourth of July weekend festivities

fireworksThe town is set for its annual fireworks show this weekend and the police department is making sure people know the best way to enjoy fireworks is as an audience member.

As it has in recent years, the town will have displays at both Binney Park and Greenwich Point on Saturday, July 6, with a rain date of Sunday, July 7. Both shows will begin at dusk and it is strongly recommended that anyone planning to attend either display arrive early as parking is limited.

And the fireworks show is only part of the festivities this weekend as the town marks the Fourth of July. The celebration starts on Independence Day itself with a Thursday morning celebration outside of Town Hall at 9 a.m. sharp. Greenwich Boy Scouts will lead a parade of the flags of the 13 original colonies and Greenwich families who are descendants of the town’s founding families will be honored as residents who were killed in the Revolutionary War are remembered.

There will also be a recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War. Local students will be presented with good citizen awards and, of course, there will be a birthday cake for America.

That will set the stage for Saturday’s fireworks show. In a press release, the town warned residents that anyone wishing to attend the Greenwich Point display must remember that the rules for Greenwich Point access will be the same as usual on the day of the fireworks.

Greenwich Point will be closed when the maximum number of cars for the available parking spaces has been achieved and, no matter what, Greenwich Point will be closed to vehicular traffic at 8:30 p.m., even if the parking capacity has not been reached.  Additionally tailgating will not be permitted in Greenwich Point’s parking lots during and after the display.  Cooking is allowed only in regularly designated picnic areas and at town-owned grills. Glassware is not permitted on or within 200 feet of the beach and swimming will not be allowed after sunset. Dogs will not be allowed in Greenwich Point Park.

Greenwich Point will be closed immediately following the conclusion of the display.

“As always, spectators are urged to carpool, plan ahead and be patient,” the town said, asking residents to work with police on issues like traffic since there could be delays in and out of Greenwich Point.

Spectators at Greenwich Point will be entertained by a disc jockey stationed near the South Concession area starting at 7:00 p.m. The fireworks will be fired from the corner of Greenwich Point known as Bluff Point, which is well beyond the South Concession Stand. Because of this there will be limited access to some areas of Greenwich Point that day.

Boaters are urged to catch the show from Long Island Sound.

The Binney Park display will feature the Sound Beach Community Band who are set to begin performing at 7:30 p.m..

Residents are being told that grills, cooking and open fires will be prohibited in Binney Park. Additionally there will be no open flame candles, sparklers, Chinese fire lanterns or any other kind of fireworks allowed. People are recommended to leave their pets at home.

In a press release put out this week from Chief of Police James Heavey, residents were reminded that most fireworks are considered illegal in Connecticut. The only legal ones are known as sparklers and fountains. Sparklers are non-explosive and non-aerial devices that contain less than 100 grams of pyrotechnic mixture. Sparklers can only be legally used by persons age 16 or older.

Police said they are commonly asked how to tell the difference between a legal and illegal firework and that the simplest definition is that, “If it goes ‘pop’ or ‘flies around.’ it’s no good. If it makes pretty colors in a shower of ‘sparks’ it’s OK. Even the small hand- held sparklers can burn at over 1,200 degrees and should not be put into the hands of children. Everyone should also be mindful of the potential fire hazard and potential injuries to pets from fireworks.”

The police reminded residents that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a “very strong position against” the use of consumer fireworks because they are so inherently dangerous. Parents often buy sparklers for use by their children, but they can ignite clothes and grass since they can burn at close to 1,200 degrees. The NFPA recommends families attend professional displays, run by experts trained in pyrotechnics, instead of lighting fireworks themselves.

More safety information for families is available at Several safety tips were also issued by the police including:

• Never use consumer fireworks indoors.

• Never give fireworks to young children.

• Always wear safety glasses.

• Always have a bucket of water or water hose nearby.

• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.

The police also warn against buying fireworks and stressed that if people do they should make sure it comes from legitimate manufacturers with a name on the box accompanied by safety instructions for proper use, which are required by law. Fireworks without that information should be avoided as they are probably illegal. People who suspect they have illegal fireworks are urged to contact police.

“Although legitimate merchants understand the law, some packaged items may contain fireworks which are not legal for use in Connecticut,” Chief Heavey said in the press release. “It is important to understand that those items often called novelty items such as party poppers, snakes, smoke devices and anything that emits a flame are not legal for private use in Connecticut.”

The department added, “Of course, always purchase these items from a known merchant and not from the back of someone’s car or garage.”

According to the police, nationwide, 3,400 children were injured by fireworks last year. Of those injuries, more than 70% occurred in the weeks surrounding July 4. Those numbers are actually falling as nationwide there has been a reported decrease in the injury rate from fireworks, but police say that the injuries that do happen are often the result of the misuse of legal fireworks or the use of illegal ones.

“The safest choice is to leave fireworks to the professionals,” the department said.

More information is online at and

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