Outdoor concerts return to Huntington Green this summer

Shelton’s hills (and valleys) will come alive with the sound of music this summer.

Kicking off the city Parks and Recreation Department’s Music Under the Stars summer concert series, The Bernadettes will play familiar sounds from Motown on Wednesday, June 26, at 7 p.m. at the Huntington Green.

Band members had last year’s audience on their feet clapping and dancing to the upbeat Motown tunes.

“This is one of the best line-ups of quality bands we’ve ever had,” Dave Zamba, Gazebo Committee chairman, said of this year’s concert schedule. “There is something for everyone.”

Shelton singer performs at the fireworks

Also returning for an encore performance, Mia Fanali, lead singer and founder of Mia and The Riff, will appear at the city’s annual Independence Day fireworks extravaganza on Wednesday, July 3.

This is the only performance that takes place in downtown Shelton’s Veterans Memorial Park (Riverwalk) and not the Huntington Green.

“I was honored that my band and I were asked to headline the Shelton fireworks,” said Fanali, a Shelton resident. “I am grateful to get to work with some of the area’s best musicians. We will be mixing up the sets with some funk, soul, Top 40, and a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll.”

Fireworks show details

Parks and Recreation Director Ron Herrick Jr. said about 7,000 people attended the Shelton fireworks last year. He encourages those who would like to be near the bandstand to arrive early.

“People start putting out chairs in the early afternoon,” Herrick said.

The concert begins at 7 p.m.; the fireworks show will start once it is dark, or around 9:25.

Bay Fireworks, the company responsible for the pyrotechnics show, has worked for the National Football League, Major League Baseball, U.S. Olympic Committee and Barnum Festival.

Two towns, two fireworks

“Derby does their fireworks right across the river on the same night as ours,” Herrick said. “They’ve been with us now for about eight or nine years. They contact us every year and ask what company we’re going to use and they go with the same one.”

Although people inevitably compare the two communities’ fireworks’ displays, Herrick said both cities spend the same amount of money and use the same vendor.

“It’s a great show,” Herrick said. “People really like it because you’re getting a better bang for your buck.”

The rain date for the Independence Day celebration concert and fireworks is Friday, July 5.

Country to swing at the Green

The Huntington Green concert series resumes the following Wednesday, July 10, with The Navels.

A new band to appear at the Shelton summer venue, The Navels, will play rock ‘n’ roll favorites. Live entertainment throughout the summer will also include country, big band and swing, Irish, dance and Beatles music.

On Wednesday, Aug. 14, singer/songwriter Lynn Lewis will present a special show for children at 6 p.m. Fools on the Hill, a band that plays Beatles music, is scheduled to perform at 7 that same evening.

Local businesses provide support

Herrick said he appreciates the financial support provided by local businesses. “Right now we have about 20 sponsors,” he said. “The local businesses have been fantastic.

"It certainly makes it easier for us to continue to provide these great concerts," he said.

In case of rain, concerts are canceled and rescheduled for the following evening. To find out if the show is canceled, call the concert hotline at 203-331-4120.

“We make a decision by 4 p.m.,” Herrick said of weather cancellations.