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Fireworks, music, and food on Thursday in Weston

file0001606584911Weston will celebrate the country’s 237th birthday with a bang — lots of bangs, actually, as well as beautiful pyrotechnic displays, music, magic, food, and more.

The town’s Family 4th Celebration, sponsored by Weston Parks and Recreation, is set to take place tomorrow, Thursday, July 4. The family-friendly event includes a spectacular 40-minute fireworks display, music throughout the evening, a magic show, and picnicking.

“Come and be prepared to have a great time!” said Dave Ungar, director of the Weston Parks and Recreation Department. “It’ll be great. There aren’t many days when the whole town gets together, so it’s really a good time when we do.”

New this year is the inaugural running of what Mr. Ungar hopes will become another annual tradition: the Weston Family 4th Mini Triathlon for both children and adult beginners.

Mr. Ungar said on Monday there were already about 60 people signed up for the triathlon, which he thinks will be a great way for families to start the day early and to get out and be active together.

Mini Triathlon

The Mini Triathlon takes place at Weston Middle School, beginning at 8 a.m. and is expected to last until about 11.

Seven- to 10-year-olds kick off the event at the middle school pool, swimming 100 yards, followed by biking three miles, and then running a half mile.

Anyone 11 and older will swim 200 yards, bike six miles and run one mile. Those who are 11 to 14 years old will compete separately.

The four- to six-year-olds will go last with their own “biathlon,” biking one mile and running 100 yards.

Registration is $15 for four- to six-year-olds, $40 for seven- to 10-year-olds, and $50 for anyone 11 and older.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to Caroline House, an education center in Bridgeport that teaches literacy and life skills to economically disadvantaged immigrant women and children.

All entrants will receive T-shirts. There will be prizes awarded to the winners, with an awards ceremony and refreshments at about 10:30 a.m.

To register and for more information, visit trifitness.net. Registration is available on race day, but it is advised to register beforehand.

Races take place rain or shine, unless the race officials determine conditions are dangerous.

Participants and spectators may park at Weston High School until 8 a.m.; then School Road will be closed for the duration of the race. Those who need to arrive later than 8:45 or leave before the event is over are encouraged to park at Hurlbutt Elementary School and walk to the middle school.

Race Day packets may be picked up between 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. The middle school pool will be open at 7:30 for warm-up

Motorists should expect some traffic delays and detours early in the day around the school complex, as School Road will be completely closed off.

Later in the day

After the race, the entire community is invited to swim at Bisceglie Pond at Bisceglie-Scribner Park, which will be open and free for residents and guests from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The park also offers a picnic area, playground, fitness trails, and baseball fields.

Home base for the evening portion of the town’s Independence Day celebration is the Weston Middle School field.

Gates open on School Road at 4:30. Admission is $5 for those five and older; children four and under are admitted for free. Admission will be collected as people enter the school campus to park.

Mr. Ungar said he recommends people arrive early, as parking nearest the middle school usually fills up quickly. Traffic is busiest after 8.

Parking is available in all the School Road parking lots. School Road will be closed to traffic at the Lords Highway entrance from 7 to 10.

New this year, Parks and Recreation is offering a limited number of premium permit parking spots in the lot directly across from the middle school field. Window permits are $20 per car and must be purchased in person (they cannot be reserved over the phone) at the Parks and Recreation office at Jarvis House on the corner of Norfield and Weston roads before July 4.

No dogs are allowed on the school campus, so residents should leave pets at home.

However, bring any tattered and worn American flags to the celebration. Boy Scout Alex Gulino is setting up blue flag collection bins in front of the middle school. As part of his Eagle Scout project, Alex hold a proper flag retirement ceremony in the near future.

Residents are encouraged to bring a blanket or low chairs. Seating is not allowed on the artificial turf fields.

Calise’s Food Market will be offering barbecue fare and drinks for purchase from 5 to 9 p.m. People may also bring picnic snacks and dinners.

Sweet treats will be available for purchase thanks to both political town committees. Throughout the evening, the Democratic Town Committee will be selling ice cream while the Republican Town Committee will hold a bake sale to raise funds for the football and cheerleading programs.

Entertainment

At 6:15, Weston music director Sal LaRusso will strike up the Westport Community Band, which will play American concert tunes.

Weston’s own Magic Genie will be working the crowd as well, entertaining with his own special brand of fun from about 6:15 to 7:15.

The Straight Note Chasers Band take the stage at 7:30 to get the crowd rockin’ and ready for the evening’s main event, an approximately 40-minute fireworks display overhead.

The fireworks, which are underwritten by Fairfield County Bank, are set up on Revson Field next to the middle school and monitored by Atlas Advanced Pyrotechnics from Jaffrey, N.H.

The Straight Note Chasers return to the stage immediately following the fireworks to help usher out the crowd with more music until 11 p.m.

With the rain and thunderstorms earlier this week, but clear skies predicted for Thursday, Mr. Ungar said he is keeping his fingers crossed that Mother Nature will cooperate with the town’s 4th of July plans. “We really try to hold it on the fourth if the elements allow,” he said.

But just in case, the rain date for food and fireworks only is Friday, July 5. Call 203-222-2655 for weather updates on July 4.

“We’re hopeful the weather is kind to us. We always hope for the best, and people always end up having a good time… It’s one of those great Weston days,” Mr. Ungar said.

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