The annual Fourth of July fireworks show and concert will come two days before the official holiday this year. (Photos by Brad Durrell)

The city-sponsored pyrotechnics display will begin at about 9:20 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, at Veterans Memorial Park (the Riverwalk). It will be preceded by a 7 p.m. concert featuring The Navels, who specialize in classic rock, disco and Motown.

The holiday extravaganza usually attracts 10,000 people or more to downtown Shelton, with many bringing lawn chairs, blankets, picnic food and refreshments to make it an extended fun-filled evening with family and friends.

Across the Housatonic River, the city of Derby also sponsors a fireworks show that is visible to people on the Shelton side. The displays are coordinated, creating what many fondly call “dueling” fireworks shows.

“Having the two towns work together has been a big success,” said Ron Herrick Jr., Shelton parks and recreation director.


'People just love the fireworks'


“People just love the fireworks —it’s all about the noise, the lights, the spectacle,” said Herrick, who has been busy this week finalizing the arrangements. “It’s fun to be out with the crowd.”
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While the Riverwalk area will be jammed with people, many Shelton residents have created their own traditions about where they prefer to watch the fireworks.

Some like to view them from a more elevated Howe Avenue or even City Hall, while others go to Riverview Park or a nearby private golf course.

“You can see the fireworks from many locations,” Herrick said.


Many food offerings


Food trucks traditionally line Canal Street with a variety of culinary offerings. Herrick said close to a dozen food trucks are expected. Vendors also will be selling various non-food items.
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Performers from Center Stage Theatre’s Youth Connection are expected to put on a brief musical show after The Navels and before dusk — when the main attraction begins in the sky.

Shelton police will be visible throughout downtown to oversee parking and traffic. A section of Howe Avenue usually is closed for a few hours, just before the fireworks begin.
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People should try to find legal parking spaces in public lots and along streets, where appropriate.

Handicapped parking usually is made available in the municipal parking lot at Cornell and Canal streets, next to the Shelton Farmers’ Market.

This year’s rain date is Sunday, July 5. Call the Parks & Rec recorded cancellation line at 203-331-4120 in case of inclement weather.