Tag Archives: 4th of July

Pic Of The Day #1904

A Longshore 4th (Photo/Doris Ghitelman)

Roundup: Happy 4th!

For 15 years, families on Sherwood Farms Lane off Greens Farms Road have celebrated the 4th of July with a kids’ parade.

Many residents have international backgrounds. But they love the tradition. It’s kept alive by Mark Rubino, who passed the flag this year to one of the few American-born neighbors.

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Happy 4th of July from Jolantha, Hans Wilhelm’s very popular and holiday-conscious pig.

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

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Jeanine Esposito has lived in Westport for over 30 years. She and her husband Frederic Chiu also own an apartment in SoNo.

But Saturday marked the first time they ever took the Norwalk Seaport Association’s boat tour to Sheffield Island, and the 2 spark plug lighthouses (only 33 survive in the entire US).

Peck Ledge sits on the line of Westport/Norwalk maritime border, and has been purchased privately to become an Airbnb.

Peck Ledge Lighthouse (Photo/Jeanine Esposito_

Greens Ledge has been bought by an arts non-profit. They’ll repair damage from Superstorm Sandy, and keep it running.

Greens Ledge Lighthouse (Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

“It was an amazing trip, right next door and with so much history,” Jeanine reports.

“Frederic and I were fascinated the whole tour — and embarrassed we never knew about it. Please share this with all the new people in town, so they don’t take 30 years to find these treasures!”

For more information, click here.

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Speaking of Norwalk: That city’s fireworks display was last night.

Visitors to Cockenoe Island — and those on a number of boats, on Long Island Sound — enjoyed a free show.

(Photo/Lawrence Zlatkin)

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“Max Orland never focuses on his limitations, only his many strengths.”

That’s the first sentence in a story about a very accomplished, very forward-looking Westporter.

The 2006 Staples High School graduate followed his passion for sports to the University of Delaware, where he managed the basketball and baseball teams. He worked for the Boston Red Sox (and won their Green Monster Award), Philadelphia Phillies and Legends and Yankee Stadium.

Now he’s in his 2nd year running the practice range at prestigious Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. He’s profiled in a recent edition of Met Golfer magazine.

Winged Foot’s general manager calls Max “one of the most sensational young men I’ve ever met. He has a bag full of inspiration. He’s changed a lot of people’s lives, in a lot of ways.”

Click here to read more about our remarkable neighbor.

Max Orland (Photo courtesy of Met Golfer Magazine)

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The Ted Thomas Dance Foundation and East Coast Contemporary Ballet present a series of free outdoor dance performances throughout Fairfield County this summer.

The tour includes MoCA Westport, on July 28 (6 p.m.). The event features Thomas Ortiz Dance and Alison Cook Beatty Dance. Click here for details.

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I was looking for a photo of an eagle — or something red, white and blue — for today’s Independence Day “Westport … Naturally” feature.

I couldn’t find one. But the white and blue in this shot of a heron is quite nice.

(Photo/Diane Lowman)

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And finally … many singers have honored America’s past and our promise, our perils and our potential.

But no one has done it better than Ray Charles.

(“06880” relies on reader support. Please click here to donate.)

What So Proudly We Hail …

Happy Birthday, America!

Gallantly streaming, on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge (Photo/Lauri Weiser)

 

[OPINION] No Fireworks, Please!

Carole Schweid is a longtime Westporter, former Broadway performer, author of “Staged Reading Magic,” artistic director of the popular lunchtime play-reading series Play With Your Food, and a fireworks fan.

However, she writes:

I always loved the closely packed beaches on the 4th of July. I enjoyed the food, the crowds, didn’t even mind the traffic. It was a community celebration, and it felt like everybody showed up.

I look forward to doing it again — but not this year.

We all know that this is not the time to gather large crowds anywhere. And certainly not groups packed together on a beach …  after dark … trying to stay warm.

Pre-fireworks scene at Compo Beach, pre-pandemic.

I can’t think of any good reason why we would want to create such unnecessary risk, even with so many people vaccinated (the state of Connecticut is doing a great job). Even if you limit the number of cars, it’s a mob scene. There wouldn’t even be a way to supervise the basic things we’ve learned about protecting ourselves, like masking and social distancing — especially after dark.

It’s becoming easier to forget that there is still a pandemic going on. We have to pay attention to how we behave. As far as I can see, there are so many good reasons not to have this event. I can’t think of any good reasons in favor of it.

One could also argue that it may not be appropriate – this year, at this time – for our town to be spending our money on fireworks when so many Fairfield County families need food.

We are a generous community.. I’m thinking our time and our money could be better spent.

A timeless scene. Will we see it again this year?

 

Marpe’s Message: Holiday Is More Than Fireworks

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

Today is the day that most of us would be preparing food and drink, joining friends, and enjoying the ultimate Westport experience of our Annual July 4th fireworks at Compo Beach.

Many of you would typically continue that celebration through the holiday weekend and into the upcoming week. Unfortunately this year, we can’t gather as we typically do to celebrate our nation’s independence.

Although COVID has restricted our ability to gather, we can’t forget that the July 4th holiday is more than fireworks, parties, and picnics. Instead, it can serve as an opportunity to reflect and re-direct the energy we may have spent in those celebratory rituals.

This year let’s be innovative in how we celebrate with close family and friends, staying at home and enjoying each other’s company. Consider taking the time to acknowledge that all of our brothers and sisters, no matter their race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation or gender expression, deserve the same independence we cherish in Westport.

While there are those who continue to struggle, we must learn from the mistakes of the past, and move forward in a concrete, firm, resolute manner to make the positive changes in our community that reflect the current conditions of this 2020 world.

Town departments, health and safety officials, and local community volunteers and leaders continue to coordinate and advance the deliberate phased reopening plans. This insures that the difficult decisions that minimized and contained the virus were not in vain. Westport is on the right track, moving forward, cautiously and carefully, but with resilience and hope.

I encourage you to continue this positivity and show your community spirit by engaging in the #ilovewestport campaign. Please check out #Ilovewestport; let us know why you love Westport and how you will commit to making a difference during these changing times.

Personally, I plan to show that “I Love Westport” by committing to wearing a mask out of respect for all my fellow Westporters, by promoting policies that ensure social distancing, by prioritizing health and safety during reopening, and by supporting our local businesses. And I commit to engaging in ongoing dialogue that will make all our residents, visitors and businesses feel safe and welcome in Westport.

Let’s celebrate this holiday with hope, imagination and a sense of community. Whether speaking about phased and gradual implementation for reopening, to the difficult but necessary discussions about racism and policing, we are a community of resilience, a community of love and hope, and a community of history with the means to affect true change in how we govern and interact. I look forward to gathering once again in the near future, with all the necessary steps to keep us safe and healthy, to celebrate our strength and fortitude, and to celebrate our independence.

Thank you, Westport, for your continued cooperation and patience. We are in this together and we will get out of it together – stronger than ever before. I hope that you have a healthy, happy, and innovative Fourth of July holiday. Please enjoy yourselves and continue to be safe.

(Photo by Lynn U. Miller)

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America, America …

Happy 236th, America!

Melissa and Doug Bernstein, with half of their kids.Their toy company sponsored last night’s fireworks — so all the proceeds go directly to PAL.

Apparently Aussies celebrate the 4th of July too.

Gail Coen and Chris Shays. The Republican US Senate candidate stopped by the Coens’ party on Soundview Avenue — traditionally one of the best in Westport.

Even Westport’s lifeguards got in the patriotic spirit yesterday.

Jackie O’Connell gets her holiday groove on.

A small part of the big scene. Amazingly — thanks to the crack Parks & Rec crew — Compo Beach is spotless this morning.

For the Heart — the great singing group — entertained the crowd yesterday by the cannons. From left: Tyler Jent, Clay Singer, Johnny Shea and August Laska.

Westport’s Finest was out in force yesterday. On motorcycles, bikes and foot, they kept the crowd of well over 10,000 safe and happy.

A classic — and timeless — Independence Day scene. (All photos by Dan Woog)

Click below to watch For the Heart sing (appropriately) “Firework”:

You’ve Got To Get Up Pretty Early…

…to reserve a Compo Beach picnic table for tonight’s fireworks.

And, as alert “06880” reader Chip Stephens saw just after 8 a.m., this woman did.

She’s observing the no-saving-tables-unless-you’re-actually-there rule.

Here’s wishing her and her friends a wonderful cookout.

And, for her sake, I hope they’ve planned a few shifts.

Happy 1st Of July Fireworks!

Always ahead of the curve, Westport celebrated the 4th of July with early fireworks last night. 

It was a Friday.  The sky was deep blue; the temperature was perfect.  The sunset was gorgeous.

This is why we live in Westport.

The calm before the storm. Except there was no storm -- only gorgeous weather and festive crowds.

Okay, it wasn't all perfect. There was plenty of "saving spots" -- despite regulations against the practice.

Parks and Rec director Stuart McCarthy earned his pay, collecting tickets at the entrance to Compo. Most drivers -- like this one -- were in a festive mood. Some had attitudes. Westport has its share of Very Special People.

The light and colors were fantastic yesterday. This is my iPhone camera; imagine what a real photographer could have captured.

Compo Beach was like an Arab souk yesterday. Everything 4th of July-related was for sale -- with proceeds going to the PAL.

Back in the day, a 4th of July picnic meant sandwiches in a hamper. Now everyone feasts on international cuisine. Hot dogs, anyone?

Ned Batlin and Serenety Dobson -- 2 of the many police officers, EMTs and other personnel keeping the crowds safe.

Soundview Drive is one place to be for the fireworks. The woman on the balcony is conducting a fife and drum corps, which entertained along the closed-to-traffic road.

Old-time Westporters -- and a young police officer -- enjoy the evening.

A sparkler, a glowing necklace, a beach and fireworks -- it doesn't get any better for a kid.

Special treat:  For The Heart — Westport’s great group of young, community-minded singers — gave a great concert by the cannons.  Click the video below to watch them perform “Life is a Highway.”