Despite construction, Weston’s July 4th celebration will go on as usual

Despite construction inside the middle school and a wetlands reclamation project nearby this summer, Weston’s traditional Fourth of July celebration will go on as planned.

The town’s Family 4th Celebration — including food, music, and almost an hour of fireworks — has always taken place on the field behind the middle school.

However, a windows and doors replacement project is happening this summer at the middle school. When PCBs were discovered in the window caulking, it became a hazardous material remediation project as well, which means the school is off-limits during construction.

In addition, a state-mandated wetlands remediation project — a byproduct of the school building project nearly a decade ago — will also be taking place behind the middle school and high school this summer.

The two construction projects meant the fate of the town’s 4th of July celebration was up in the air, said Dave Ungar, director of Parks and Recreation, which oversees the festivities.

“We weren’t sure for awhile what we’d be able to do with the school project with the windows and the wetlands remediation. But it looks like we’re going to get — no pun intended — a window of opportunity to do the 4th of July celebration and fireworks.”

Weston has always done its fireworks and 4th of July celebration on July 4, regardless on what day of the week the holiday falls, and this year will be no different. The holiday means construction will be suspended on Wednesday, July 4, and Mr. Ungar said the town has determined the show will go on as usual. He is meeting this week with the contractor and the architect to make sure a rain date of Thursday, July 5, would be possible, as well.

Weston’s fireworks display and other 4th of July activities normally draw anywhere from 3,000 to 3,500 people, Mr. Ungar said. “It’s a great tradition and always a lot of fun,” he said.

Home base for the Independence Day celebration is the Weston Middle School field. Gates open at 4:30. Admission is $5/person for ages five and older; children four and under are admitted free. Admission is collected as people enter the school campus to park. Parking is available in all the School Road parking lots.

The entrance at the Lords Highway end of School Road is closed at 7 p.m. Mr. Ungar encourages people to plan to arrive early to avoid the inevitable rush later in the evening. Traffic is busiest after 8.

No dogs are allowed on the school campus. Residents are encouraged to bring a blanket or low chairs. Seating is not allowed on the artificial turf fields.

Barbecue items will be available for purchase from Leo Spinelli. People may bring their own food, too, but grills of any kind are not allowed.

Entertainment during the evening includes a performance by magician the Magic Genie (Nissan Eventoff), and music by perennial favorites the Westport Community Band and the Straight Note Chasers Band.

And, of course, there will be fireworks. The display usually lasts about 45 minutes. Fairfield County Bank is once again helping to offset the cost of the fireworks, which are set up and monitored by a professional pyrotechnics company on Revson Field, north of the middle school.

The Family 4th Celebration also includes free swimming at Bisceglie Pond all day.

“A lot goes into making the day successful, but it’s always a great community event,” Mr. Ungar said.

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