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Adjust your view: Branford's annual Fireworks display won't go off from Branford Point's town dock this June; instead they will fly into the sky launched from the high point of Ecology Park. The change is due to state construction work on the Harbor Street Bridge. Seen here in 2017, a crowd at Branford Yacht Club looks toward last year's launch site at the town dock on the Branford River. Kelley Fryer/The Sound | Buy This Photo)
Foote Park to be Public's Main Viewing Location for June 23 Event
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On Sunday, April 15, the all-volunteer Branford Fireworks Committee confirmed a rumor that had been flying around town: the launch point for Branford's 2018 Fireworks display, set for June 23, has been relocated from the town dock at Branford Point to the top of Branford's Ecology Park. This year's change of location for firing off the popular Independence Day display is due to "bridge closing during the window to have fireworks," according to the announcement posted at the Branford Fireworks Facebook page.
The committee stated the decision was made "...after much debate and input from town departments."
The state has been working to reconstruct the Harbor Street Bridge, located along the main access route the town dock at Branford Point.
Opened in 2014, Ecology Park was the crowning point in a 10 year-effort to safely transform Branford's former, capped landfill into the town's highest viewing point along the shoreline. From the park's hilltop gazebo, panoramic views stretch to the waters of Long Island Sound and the Thimble Islands.
While there will be no access to any part of Ecology Park on the day of the fireworks, the Fireworks Committee noted firing the show from the hilltop position "...will allow viewing from many areas in town," together with visibility from "traditional spots" including Branford Point and Foote Park -- with a bit of a seating adjustment. The committee also noted that Foote Park with be this year's main public viewing point, offering "especially spectacular views for the public to enjoy."
"As of now, we do know that for boaters you will have visibility in all Branford waters. Stony Creek areas facing west will also have visibility. In the area of Hospice [Short Beach], you will also have clear view of the show," the committee wrote.
On April 15, the Fireworks Committee also gave residents a heads up that a "test" firing will go off in the coming weeks to determine other possible viewing areas the committee may suggest to the public. In addition to closing access to Ecology Park on the day of the fireworks display, the committee anticipates only residents of nearby Ark Road and Tabor Road will have access to those streets, with no street parking on those streets on the day of the fireworks display.
All-volunteer Branford Fireworks Committee pulls a spectacular fireworks display together each year by working hard to raise donations from individuals, groups and organizations. The town chips in a $15,000 contribution but the costs add up to nearly double that each year. Not including costs for police, fire, and public works overtime, but taking into consideration costs including free shuttle buses and the pyrotechnics display, some $26,000 is needed to put on the show each year, according to a 2017 committee estimate.
Residents can support the Branford Fireworks by sending a check payable to Branford Fireworks, Town of Branford c/o Branford Parks and Recreation Dept. 40 Kirkham St., Branford CT 06405.
Another way to support the annual display is coming up on Sat. April 28, when a document "Shred Event" will take place in the Stony Creek Brewery parking lot at 5 Indian Neck Ave. 9 a.m. - noon. A $5 donation is requested for each box of paper brought for shredding; 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Branford Fireworks. After the event, guests are welcome to visit the brewery, which will open early at 10 a.m. For more information, visit http://stonycreekbeer.com/ or find Stony Creek Beer on Facebook.
Updates on the fireworks display, which has a rain date of Sunday, June 24, can be found at the Branford Fireworks Facebook page. Branford Parks and Recreation Dept. will also carry updates when available at http://www.branford-ct.gov/parks
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