Roundup: Fireworks, Mill Pond Jumping, River Cleanup …


Jennifer Rago McCarthy grew up with Westport traditions. Like the Yankee Doodle Fair. And the 4th of July fireworks.

In 2020, COVID knocked out the June fair. To be safe, the Westport Woman’s Club moved this year’s event to September.

For the second straight summer, the fireworks wee canceled.

Which got Jennifer — a 1985 Staples High School graduate — thinking: Why not have the fireworks on Labor Day weekend?

Why not indeed?!

Jennifer asked me to post her idea. If enough people are interested, it may be worth pursuing.

So, “06880” readers: What do you think? If you’re down with fireworks on Labor Day weekend, click “Comments” below.

And if you think that’s a bad idea, click “Comments” too — and tell us why.

Labor Day, 2021?(Photo/Patricia McMahon)


“The show must go on” is a time-honored tradition. On Friday night, Drew Angus honored it well.

The Staples High School graduate, recording artist and all-around good guy was booked for the Levitt Pavilion. Right before showtime, a hard rain fell.

But Drew — standing behind his band’s covered instruments — gave a fantastic performance.

Most of the crowd was far in back, under the overhang. A few hardy folks sat on the grass. But it didn’t take long for many to get up and dance. It was an amazing scene. (It didn’t hurt that one of his numbers was “Singin’ in the Rain.”)

Carleigh Welsh announced that Drew will be booked for another performance this summer. Hopefully he knows “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine.” (Hat tip: Laura Schwartz)

Drew Angus, singing in the rain. (Photo/Laura Schwartz)


For decades, kids jumped off the Sherwood Mill Pond bridge.

When the water got grotty, they stopped.

The pond is back in great shape. Several years ago, the jumpers returned.

Last summer, some of them were loud and rude. They ruined it for everyone. Residents complained. Parks & Rec put up a “Danger/No Jumping or Diving” sign, complete with little red-slash pictographs.

Yesterday, Ann Becker Moore, Pam Washburn and Karen Como spotted a new sign. It says simply: “Jump.”

(Photo/Karen Como)


If anyone knows what’s going on, click “Comments” below.


This was 90 Morningside Drive South, when it was on the market.

It was bought last July for $2.64 million, by Mattera Construction. Here’s how it looked yesterday:


Every other Saturday morning, Longshore Sailing School hosts a Saugatuck River cleanup.

Despite yesterday’s weather, 40 single and double kayaks headed out. Each came bag with incredible amounts of trash.

Paul Danielewicz and Mark Jaffe collected the most. They don’t win anything. But everyone who loves the Saugatuck River is grateful.

The next cleanup is July 17 (9:30 to 11 a.m.). Anyone interested should meet at Longshore Sailing School, behind the pool.

Paul Danielewicz and Mark Jaffe.


Last night, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Eastern Conference finals. They advance to the championship for the first time since 1974 (when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the starting center).

The Westport connection? The Bucks are co-owned by Westport hedge fund manager Marc Lasry. PS: They were named the Bucks long before the billionaire bought them. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)


Conversion of the former Armstrong Rubber Company headquarters in New Haven — the concrete box on the left as you head north, next to Ikea and just before the I-91 merge — into what may be the most energy-efficient hotel in the country has “Westport” all over it.

Hotel Marcel’s developer and architect is Westport-based Bruce Becker. He’s building it to meet net-zero energy standards. It will generate as much energy as it uses. All electricity is produced on site, and it’s the first passive house-certified hotel in the US. 

Saugatuck’s LANDTECH is the project’s site/civil engineer.

It’s a great project. To learn more, click on the video below. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)


The weather hasn’t been great this 4th of July weekend. But Jolantha of Kellogg Hill proves you can put lipstick on this pig.

Or at least decorate her for the holiday.

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)


“Naturally … Westport” ventures today to Bermuda Road, on Saugatuck Shores:

(Photo/Diane Yormark)


And finally … happy birthday, America. We’ve made it through 245 years. Here’s to the next 245!

22 responses to “Roundup: Fireworks, Mill Pond Jumping, River Cleanup …

  1. Barbara Sherburne '67

    Good grief re the house on Morningside Drive. The picture from yesterday was not what I was expecting AT ALL.

  2. Kathryn O'Reardon

    Morningside Drive sadness as another piece of our heritage is lost.

  3. Brilliant idea!!!! Fireworks on Labor Day Weekend!!! Does not need to be Grucci Brothers!!!! Count me in!!!

  4. Barbara Ryan

    Good idea. 4th of July on Labor Day weekend but only temporary.

  5. Jack Backiel

    We lived at 114 South Morningside Drive. I knew the people who lived at 90 South Morningside Drive in the 1960s. Also, GO BUCKS!

  6. IN for a one-off Labor Day fireworks!!!

  7. Sue Roberts

    Great idea re Fireworks on Labor Day weekend!!

  8. Matt Murray

    Like thousands of towns, Westport opted to avoid people in close proximity to each other. We have no idea what the new Delta and other variants are going to do as far as a pandemic. Well I appreciate folks missing traditional fireworks I think a Labor Day exhibition would be too soon.

  9. Jenny McCarthy

    The house on Morningside breaks my heart!

  10. Laura Schwartz

    Yes, I think we need all the community time we can get to make up for the BIG LOSS! Especially the kids, they need to feel connected and fire works on the beach would be a great beginning for the new school year!
    Laura Schwartz

  11. Sandra Amari Rose


  12. Zero interest in Labor Day fireworks. Look forward to resuming Fourth fireworks in 2022.

  13. As for the “JUMP” sign at the Mill Pond, last week there was an “I” on the end, so I suspect the sign once read “NO JUMPING” and someone has removed most of the message.

  14. Alan Phillips

    Brilliant idea.. Fireworks labor day weekend. Westport Pal you will fill up the parking lot and beaches..

  15. re: Mattera Construction 30 Morningside Dr. “ain’t progress great”. westport will now have a $6 million manse. Aren’t we fortunate.

    • Bobbie Herman

      Les — more like $7.5 million. The price of the new house is usually three times the cost of the”Teardown.”

  16. Chris Grimm

    Armstrong Rubber Company? C’mon, no need to make it sound boring!

    It’s the Pirelli Tire Building! It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

    It’s great that Marcel Breuer’s Brutalist masterpiece is being repurposed and saved. (Of course, if it was in Westport it would have been torn down already.)

  17. Isabelle Breen

    Glad to hear that Drew will be given another time to perform. Had tickets, but must admit the rain kept me away. Fingers crossed Drew!

  18. Mark Bachmamn

    Let’s skip fireworks this year and return them to the Fourth in 2022.

  19. Josh Stein

    Very VERY sad about the Morningside house! Westport history getting destroyed bit by bit… 🙁

    Kudos to Paul Danielewicz and Mark Jaffe and all of those that help clean up the Saugatuck! I think I saw you guys landed on a beach on Saugatuck Shores. I have been picking up logs, sticks, garbage, and balloons in the River for years. I recently encountered someone new to the neighborhood that went nuts on me for picking up trash and propeller breaking size driftwood. I tried explaining the wood could cause damage to a boat, injury to people on boats, etc. All I got was a nonsensical angry bark “i spent good money to buy a house here”. Perhaps I will write to Dan woog for more to the story and some pictures of the logs…

  20. Bill Strittmatter

    Fireworks in Fairfield were excellent this evening. A few Westporters even made the trek to enjoy them.

  21. Juliana Sloane Fulbright

    I think Labor Day is fine and my daughter Cat thinks so too and my husband. We really missed the fireworks this year and spent a depressing weekend home!! I’m sick of home!!