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Wednesday, March 21 News

Family Fourth fireworks take over Waveny Park

Fireworks will brighten the sky in New Canaan Friday when the 34th annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration takes over Waveny Park.

The event, which is organized by the New Canaan Family Fourth committee, will start at 5 p.m. and the fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 9.

First Selectman Robert Mallozzi, who ran the committee between 2003 and 2011, said the celebration is "as popular as ever" and one of New Canaan's most special events. Besides the "spectacular fireworks," he said, the event continues its emphasis on family, community and picnic.

According to Recreation Director Stephen Benko, the celebration has drawn between 8,000 and 9,000 people in recent years.

Benko said families can bring a picnic supper to the park, but grills will not be allowed. The Exchange Club of New Canaan will sell soda, ice cream, cookies, wraps and other food.

Passes for residents are $30 and can be purchased through July 3 at the Recreation Department on the second floor of Waveny House or at the first selectman's office on the second floor of the New Canaan Police Department. A limited number of nonresident passes are available for $60.

Passes also will be sold at the Waveny Pool from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 4, but they will not be sold during the event.

The approximate $62,000 celebration is funded through donations and the sale of passes, according to Benko. Besides the cost of the fireworks, the money pays for sound equipment, tables, tents and other supplies.

"People are very generous," he said. "They have covered our expenses for the past 30 years."

This year's event will feature a face painter, a bounce house and other inflatables, and the New Canaan Town Band, which will perform starting at 7 p.m.

Pedestrians must buy a pass, which is also $30, and are asked to enter the park from the New Canaan High School field. All cars must enter through the main gate on South Avenue.

Lapham Road will be closed and no street parking will be allowed in the neighborhood.

The rain date is Saturday, July 5.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson

Nelson Oliveira|Education/general assignment reporter