New For 2022. Next Year We Will See Dozens More.

Just when you thought the fireworks claiming-space arms race could not get any crazier, you see this:

(Photo/Gara Morse)

Reasonable people can disagree on the propriety of saving space with beach chairs.

Sure, it’s aggressive. But as James Morgan pointed out in a thoughtful comment this morning:

  1. There are not a lot of people on the beach most of today — a “working” Thursday.
  2. This will make entry smoother, once the gates open to ticket holders at 5 p.m.
  3. This is not like racing in right before a show starts. When they finally get there, most people will enjoy the beach for several hours before the fireworks begin.

Yet the photo above is mind-blowing. This is as aggressive a move as I’ve ever seen. It’s the Compo equivalent of “get off my lawn!”

Except in this case, it’s not his (or her) lawn.

Sure, reasonable people can differ. I have reserved a teeny tiny corner of my normally big heart to hear a defense of this rapacious roping practice.

It better be good.

29 responses to “New For 2022. Next Year We Will See Dozens More.

  1. Sandra Rothenberg

    Piping Plovers?

  2. This should not happen, in the past the town has taken these down. What gives?

  3. This is an area that is being roped off for safety by Westport Parks and Rec. NO ONE will be allowed to sit in this area. At least, THAT is the only acceptable explanation.

  4. Yep. Not sure i can come up with a good argument for this one. It’s kind of like the folks at a pool at a hotel that put their stuff on the pool chairs before breakfast and then show up to sit on them at 4:00 in the afternoon. We have people coming and going most of the day today with chairs and other items to set up a nice outing that will start later in the afternoon. The logistics of the day today do suggest that it is better to allow setup during the day so as to not have havoc later (and older folks having to carry their stuff long distances). But this one is a gem.

  5. Thoughtful comments?
    1. Agree on the workday argument that not many people will be disrupted by people laying claim to sand, but does that make it right?
    2. Disagree on the 5pm “rush” argument. As can be seen in your pics, only chairs & ropes are there now. There’s going to be a rush later today when all the privileged show up at 4-5pm. What’s so bad about arriving at 5pm when Compo is “reopened” and taking the best position available.
    3. And again, just because people will sit around having a nice social time (which is good of course) this evening, does that justify the land grab mentality? My spouse & I are working all day. Should we have to go to Compo at 6am to stake a claim for fear of having to sit near the Compo toilets or in the parking lot itself?
    The “thoughtful comments” sound more like a justification for people being self-centered. Given all the bad-parking pictures and other examples of self-indulgent Westporters called out on this blog, I’d have expected a less sympathetic take. Would love to see the Parks & Rec folks collecting empty chairs for donations, and picking up stakes & ribbons. What’s a squatter going to do when they show up 6-8 hours after plunking all their gear down when someone else is sitting there – actually sitting there?!

  6. Next year (2023) will have security guards on duty to make sure no one gets inside the (velvet) ropes.

  7. Jody Schimmel

    The solution is to stop having fireworks. That’ll put an end to all this.

    And my dog will be so much happier…

  8. Such “entitlement “ take pictures of them when they enter their compound and post! They might leave their trash on our beach as well

  9. To the point I made in another related post on this subject, it’s gotten WAY out of hand! And it’s sad to see.

  10. The police should take that down and whoever did this should be banned from the fireworks. So rude!

  11. They are the same people who take two parking spaces in town. Unfortunately, they will always be among us.

  12. Why not go the distance and use crime scene tape?

  13. I really do hope your next post is a picture of that tape and poles lying in a pile somewhere.

  14. Lauren MacNeill

    When we wonder when has the space saving gone too far this is your answer.

  15. Where’s Earl Smith when we need him⁉️🇺🇸

  16. Please take no offense fans of the 4th – but all this craziness just to see fireworks? I’ll be asleep LOL. Hopefully my new pup won’t freak out.

    • Get your vet to prescribe Trazodone. Works wonders for my dog who gets freaked out by thunderstorms and fireworks.

  17. Sooo-z Mastropietro

    If there’s no more room on the beach, come to the opening at MoCA! It’s an exciting show and although I only have 1 piece up, it’s brand new in contrast to the fireworks which have been seen before!

  18. Fond memories of Compo 4th of July fireworks way back when they actually were on the 4th of July. Somehow, having them on a work night doesn’t seem like a real celebration.

    Even back then, traffic was a nightmare, but at least people were civilized.

    I wrote it off after that incident in which a ‘Type A’ Westport attorney refused to obey a traffic cop and drove onto the shoulder, striking the cop (or another cop, or a civilian pedestrian; I can’t remember.) Thankfully, no serious injury, and the attorney avoided prison, of course.

    Subsequently went to Weston’s real 4th of July, 4th of July celebration for 25+ years, which is so much friendlier and easier to deal with.

    • Westport Fireworks have never been on July 4th proper. At least not in the last 60 years….

      • Terry Brannigan

        That’s disgusting. I wish you posted an “after” photo of the people who sat there. Btw my sister and I grew up at the beach it was never the contest it has become for people to show off. We parked at Hillspoint and pulled our wagon down around 6:30. The walk in both directions is one of my favorite parts of the night. Tons of friendly people, dads with kids on their shoulders, no aggression just a good time. The dozens of 30 chair circles established by noon suck

      • Dave, Are you sure about that? I seem to remember some point (high school 1970s maybe) when they were moved because overtime costs were too high.

  19. Russell Gontar

    All I can hear
    I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
    Even those tears
    I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
    No one’s frightened of playing it
    Everyone’s saying it
    Flowing more freely than wine
    All through the day
    I me mine

    – The Beatles

  20. Vanessa Bradford

    Well documented Dan! From afar in Fairfield, as much as I love my home town of Westport, thank you, but not tonight!!!!!

  21. Why aren’t people using their full name?

  22. Andrew Colabella

    Hey, Adam West (pseudo name, love it) Mayor of Quahog 🤣

    I contacted the Guest Services director pertaining to the privilege wall that was put up. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the rules I could find to enforce such action.

    Therefore, this rule will be added to next year, that no beach patron(s) can occupy public open space with such barrier.

    Next year!

  23. Carl A. Swanson

    Since Vietnam, I don’t go near anything that goes “boom.” Dating back to the 50’s, all I remember is my father griping about the traffic getting home. But it was a nice family-town event. I am told the place to watch the fireworks is Burying Hill Beach? I do believe it should be held on the 4th, a reminder of the day’s actual importance.

  24. It was not put up by a private citizen. We were sitting next to it, and no one sat there at all last night. Little kids ended up playing in the area. Perhaps the town put it up for safety reasons? So maybe everyone should settle down.

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