Update, 11:45 a.m.:
Organizer David Genovese tells Patch that tonight's show will go on despite scattered showers and thunderstorms crossing through the area.
"It may not be the best night ever for fireworks, but should be fine," Genovese wrote in an email.
Weather reports suggest that the rain may taper off by 6 p.m. or so, Genovese said. The fireworks are set to blast off around 8:45 p.m.
On Sunday, July 3, fireworks will return to the skies above for the first time since the campus was rebuilt. Thousands of locals are expected to turn out — more than the attendance of the Turkey Bowl, by one estimate — along with half a dozen vendors, firefighters, thirty-odd police officers, and quite a few cars.
Below is a roundup of Sunday's festivities, courtesy of organizers David Genovese and Susan Cameron and the . If you have any questions about the event, post them in the comments and we'll do our best to answer them or pass them onto the right authority.
- What: Darien Fireworks 2011
- When: Sunday, July 3, 2011. Gates open to vehicles at 6 p.m. (pedestrians can enter before that); fireworks begin at approximately 8:45 p.m.
- Rain date: Tuesday, July 5
- To benefit: Town of Darien Firefighters' Foundation
GETTING THERE (AND BACK):
- Vehicular traffic: All traffic must enter the campus from Noroton Avenue. Nutmeg Lane and High School Lane will be closed as entry points [see a map].
- Parking: Street parking will be allowed on Nutmeg Lane (on both sides, facing Hollow Tree Ridge Road), High School Lane (on both sides, facing Middlesex Road), the public portion of Holly Lane (on the south side, facing Middlesex), Libby Lane (on the west side, facing Middlesex), and part of Hollow Tree Ridge Road (south of Nutmeg Ln.). No parking is allowed on Noroton Avenue. When capacity has been reached, the Noroton Avenue extension will be closed off to traffic.
- Satellite lots: Several parking lots will also be open within walking distance of the campus: the (~1/2 mile away), (~1 mile away), and (~1 mile away). Those parking at the DCA are asked to make a donation to the firefighters' foundation.
- Walking distance: Due to the limited availability of parking, spectators may have to walk a significant distance to and from their vehicles. Be prepared and allow plenty of time to reach the viewing areas.
- Handicap parking: There is a very limited number of handicapped parking spaces available. A disabled parking permit is required.
- Observe 'no parking' signs: Cars illegally parked will be ticketed and may be towed. Anyone removing 'no parking' signs will be arrested.
- Pickup and departure: There will be no entry to the site until roads have cleared. Parents should arrange a pickup spot and have children wait there until traffic has cleared.
- Advice for pedestrians: Carry a flashlight, keep children with you, stay on sidewalks, and wear light-colored or reflective clothing.
- The fireworks: The fireworks display, conducted by Atlas Pyrotechnics, will begin at approximately 8:45 p.m.
- Viewing areas: Organizers have designated nine viewing areas around the school [see map]. There will be no access to the lower baseball fields or the stadium field. Chairs, food, and drinks (except for water) are not allowed on the artificial turf field in the oval.
- Vendors: Six vendors will be on site: (candy and popcorn), the (glow sticks), (ice cream), iTownStore.com (t-shirts), Phil's Grill (hot dogs and sliders), and (hot dogs and sandwiches).
- No alcohol: No alcoholic beverages are allowed on school property.
- Bathroom facilities: There will be 20 portable toilets scattered across the campus.
- Police presence: A police department and emergency services command post will be located in the parking lot near the entrance to the football field.
FIREFIGHTERS' FOUNDATION STATEMENT:
The Town of Darien Fireﬁghters’ Foundation is proud to be a part of bringing back the ﬁreworks to our community.
Who are we? We formed in January of 2007 as a civilian run organization committed to raising funds on behalf of the Darien’s three 100% volunteer ﬁre companies (the , the , and the ). These departments respond to approximately 1,000 calls per year. While the Town of Darien makes the safety of its citizens its highest priority, the funds provided to the departments often fall short of the needs of our ﬁrst responders. Our ﬁre departments work hard to augment their budgets through their own fund raising efforts — such as Christmas tree sales, boat rafﬂes and direct mail campaigns — but even these efforts fall short of the mark.
This is where the Foundation comes in. The Foundation raises funds to support the overall ﬁrst responder capability in the town of Darien, Conn. and its mutual aid jurisdictions. We are committed to support and enhance the standards of safety in the Darien community. Funds raised by the Foundation may be used to purchase equipment, pay for training, purchase or improve property that is solely used in a ﬁrst responder capacity or to promote activities of the Foundation or the aforementioned ﬁrst responders.
We live in a great community, part of a great country. It is ﬁtting that we celebrate our national holiday appropriately. Our ﬁreﬁghters our honored to be a part of returning this great event to Darien and we are grateful for your support.