Town ready to celebrate stars and stripes

The town is preparing to show its American pride as it gears up for next week’s Independence Day festivities.

The main event will be the Independence Day Association’s raising of the Betsy Ross flag outside Town Hall at 9 a.m. on July 4, according to the association’s chairman and town Ambassador at Large Bea Crumbine.

The flag-raising ceremony began nine years ago when it was brought to Ms. Crumbine’s attention that Greenwich, a colonial town, did not officially recognize Independence Day. Children considered the holiday a time for fireworks and barbecues but did not understand its significance, Ms. Crumbine explained.


Accordingly, she designed a ceremony to actively involve local children, enabling them to learn the holiday’s historical importance and meaning.

Nine years later, the festivity has become a tradition, engaging children from the town’s Boys and Girls Club Honor Guard, Children of the American Revolution and beyond. Families also regularly attend the ceremony with their own kids.

In addition to raising the flag, Ms. Crumbine said she is “very touched” that this year’s ceremony will honor approximately 40 descendants of the country’s founding families. There will also be a salute to the patriots who died in the Revolutionary War, recognition of one student from each school in town who has demonstrated good citizenship, excerpts from the Declaration of Independence read out loud by local Boy and Girl Scouts, music and more.

The event will be “Americana in the extreme” and has become an important day for community bonding, Ms. Crumbine said. The flag-raising ceremony is “recognition that our flag is this wonderful historical element which as kept us all together for so many years and will continue to do so,” she added.

Other Fourth of July events include two fireworks displays hosted by the town on July 7 at 9 p.m. One will be held at Binney Park and the other at Greenwich Point in Old Greenwich. More information on these events is available online at and the same rules for Greenwich Point will be in effect for the fireworks as they are for any event. It will be closed off once the maximum number of cars for available parking has been reached and it will be closed to cars starting at 8:30 p.m. even if that capacity has not been reached.

There will be no tailgating allowed and there will be no swimming allowed after sunset. No dogs are permitted in Greenwich Point Park during the event and the point will be closed once the fireworks are over. However people are permitted to watch the event from boats in Long Island Sound. The fireworks themselves will be fired from what is known as Bluff Point, well beyond the south concession stand, and a DJ will be stationed at the stand to play music starting at 7 that night.

The Bruce Park Community Band will play in Binney Park beginning at 7:30 p.m. Grills, cooking and open fires are not permitted in Binney Park.

Throughout the festive weekend, Greenwich police are stressing safety. In a department press release, Chief of Police James Heavey reminded residents that most fireworks are illegal in Connecticut and that people are only allowed to have sparklers and fountains.

Police also suggested keeping a bucket of water nearby and using safety glasses when handling fireworks. They also reminded residents that alcohol and pyrotechnics do not mix and that the safest way to enjoy Independence Day is to attend a public display conducted at a state-approved site by a Connecticut-licensed pyrotechnician.

The rain date for the town’s fireworks shows will be July 8 at the same time and locations of the original displays.


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