Shelton Derby dueling fireworks draw a crowd

As a warm July 3 cooled down and the picnic blankets were laid out, Shelton residents and visitors eagerly awaited a patriotic display of fireworks on the Riverwalk.

The Highland Rover Band played the classic rock hits of Johnny Cash and Old Crow Medicine Show, children danced and the smell of pizza filled the air.

Even an American flag themed fidget spinner made an appearance.

While the crowd kicked back and footballs whizzed by, Jim Riccio a former Shelton resident and member of the Army National Guard cradled his infant grandson Aaron Murphy as he looked at the city's War Memorial slabs.

To Riccio, the Fourth of July means freedom and remembering those in the military who sacrificed their life.

In addition to the festivities Shelton’s Echo Hose, police and firefighters joined in to create a safe and enjoyable event to celebrate America’s independence.

Every year Derby and Shelton attempt to outdo each other with rival fireworks displays on either side of the Housatonic river. In a dazzling display of pyrotechnics by both towns, Derby appeared to fire off larger fireworks than Shelton while Shelton shot them off in greater quantities for slightly longer. By the time Derby had finished, a number of small fires were visible at or near the launch site. Perhaps the word 'firework' was taken a bit too literally.