Wilton plans fireworks for 4th of September

Hundreds of Wilton residents gathered to watch the town's annual fireworks display in 2019.

Hundreds of Wilton residents gathered to watch the town's annual fireworks display in 2019.

Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

WILTON — Although the town’s Independence Day celebration was put on hold this year, Wilton residents will see the red glare of popping rockets before summer’s end.

On Tuesday night, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a $18,000 contract to bring fireworks to town for a Labor Day celebration on Saturday, Sept. 4, at Wilton High School.

“We didn’t budget for this,” explained First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice, but since contracted health care costs were drastically lower than expected this year, the town is enjoying a surplus.

“We have plenty of money, (but) it’s not a break-the-bank contract,” she said.

Officials are hoping the daylong celebration will include the traditional Freedom Run 5K Road Race at the high school track as well as the annual softball game between the Democrat and Republican Town Committees. The celebration will also feature music and food trucks, and will be organized by the Parks and Recreation Department.

“One thing we would like to do differently with the parking is, since it is Labor Day, recognize the health care workers and first responders,” Vanderslice said. Those individuals will be offered free parking in premium spots.

General parking tickets, she added, would probably need to be purchased in advance as there are concerns about the number of personnel who will be on-site handling sales the day of the event. Normally, college students who work for the department would fill those roles, but given the date of the event it is unlikely most of them will be around.

“Staffing is going to be a problem,” Vanderslice said. “It may be that you have to get your parking ticket in advance — we’re just not going to have the staff to be selling the tickets the night of.”

“That’s going to be the big change,” she added, noting ticket sale generally pays for a good share of the event’s cost.

Others on the board expressed their support for the concept of moving the event, especially since it coincides with the return to school.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Selectman Joshua Cole said.

The fireworks display will be conducted by Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, Inc., which is based in Jaffrey, N.H. It’s scheduled to start at 8 p.m., with a rain date of Sept. 5.