There is a back story to yesterday’s post about the “stakeout” at the Compo Beach fireworks: the large section of sand marked off by stakes and ropes.
Just before 7:30 p.m. last night — as crowds swelled — I received this email:
“I was involved in the group that staked out a portion of the beach today. It clearly looks bad, and I guess we should have thought of another way to handle it.
“Some members of my church are bringing 30 men from the Pivot House substance abuse program in Bridgeport to Compo for the fireworks. We wanted them to have a nice night out, and to know that there are people supporting them.
“We had a cookout at the church prior to the show, and wanted to make sure we had a large enough space so they could all be together, and frankly insulated from the amount of drinking that will be going on around them.
“While the stakes were overly aggressive, I wanted you to know it was coming from a good place.”
All’s well that ends well. Next year, they’ll put up several signs noting exactly why the area was staked out.
And no one else will copy the idea for family and friends.
Meanwhile, in one of the most astonishing (and under-appreciated) vanishing acts of the year, Westport’s Parks & Recreation and Public Works Departments worked (once again) through the night to turn last night’s massive bash into this morning’s pristine beach. Gone, miraculously, are (literally) tons of trash.
When the final firework faded (and the barge fire was doused), thousands of partyers headed to their cars. They left behind all the remains of picnics, barbecues and open bars, plus countless chairs, tables, towels, and probably a random kid or two.
Let’s hear it for all the men and women we never saw, who made sure that when the sun came up, not a trace of last night remained!
Speaking (still) of the fireworks:
One of the great parts (among many) of last night’s show was the scene along Soundview Drive.
Closed to vehicles, the waterfront road became a party promenade.
People of all ages strolled up and down, greeting friends and enjoying the views. A marching band strutted; music blared from house parties; vendors sold sparklers.
Kids rode bikes and scooters. Police officers chatted with teenagers. It was like Venice Beach in California, without the body builders.
So I’ll resurrect the idea I throw out every year, which never goes anywhere: Why do we do this only once a year?
How about 2 or 3 other dates each summer? Pick a few Sundays. Close down Soundview. Bring in a band or two, maybe some jugglers and clowns too.
Okay, Parks & Rec, police and selectwomen. Let the good times roll!
There may have been 15,000 people at the Compo fireworks last night.
But dozens of others opted instead for MoCA Westport.
They enjoyed the less crowded but equally exciting opening reception for the summer exhibition, “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse.” It explores how female artists use textiles to subvert the social expectation of crafting by lambasting this soft medium with political and social awareness.
The museum will hold free “Cocktails & Conversations” events on select Thursday evenings, featuring speakers relevant to the exhibition. Free gallery tours will also be available. Click here for details.
After 3 years Westport’s first poet laureate, Diane Meyer Lowman, has passed her pen along. Newly appointed laureate Jessie Noyes McEntee has taken over.
First Selectwoman Jen Tooker paid tribute to Diane and her contributions, in a Westport Library event on Wednesday.
Sunday marked a milestone: The Susan Fund has now distributed more than $2 million in scholarships to area students diagnosed with cancer. For the 3rd year in a row, this disbursement ($99,500, to 23 recipients) set a record.
The Fund honors Susan Lloyd, a Staples High School graduate who lost her battle with cancer before starting college at Colgate University. Her mother, Fund founder and chair Ann Lloyd, served as MC for this year’s ceremony.
To learn more or to donate, click here.
Details come later, but mark your calendar now:
The 2nd annual VersoFest is set for March 30 through April 2, 2023, at the Westport Library.
The multimedia festival — with music, workshops and much more — builds on the success and power of this year’s inaugural event.
Thanks to all who sent fireworks-and-more shots yesterday. I’m sorry I could not use them all.
But before we go, here’s one I just got, from a true pro — Ted Horowitz. It’s not from Compo Beach, though. He captured the view from Harbor Road perfctly.
A few hours earlier, Ted captured (on camera) this handsome egret, for “Westport … Naturally”:
And finally … as we head into our Independence Day holiday, let’s not forget our neighbors to the north. It’s Canada Day today.